What Philippine Swimming needs is a TOTAL REVAMP

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Let’s face it! Philippine Swimming is in a very sorry state, and this is because people who have been behind Philippine Swimming Incorporated (PSI) have allowed this to happen to the very organization that we all love.

When I say people behind the organization, I do not only mean it’s President, Mark Joseph, but this includes all PSI officers, national coaching staff and board of directors; past and present!

The lack of senior talents to win Gold Medals for the country this coming 2017 SEA Games, and the zero Gold medals for the past three SEA Games, are enough proof how the organization has been badly mismanaged; thus NO DOUBT, Philippine Swimming badly needs a TOTAL REVAMP!

Right Timing for a Total Revamp

While most of you would agree with me that PSI badly needs a total revamp, I also believe that most of you would also agree with me that the “right timing” for the total revamp is very important and critical.

With six months to go before the 29th Southeast Asian Games, “right timing for the revamp” would surely be very tricky.

People would think that the perfect timing for the revamp (election) would be this month or next month so as to give the newly elected officers enough time to prepare for the upcoming SEA Games.

On the other hand, others would think that the right timing is after the SEA Games to have a fresh start, and most importantly, so as not to disturb the current preparation of our swimmers for the upcoming SEA Games.

As per recent developments, as reported by Nick Giongco in Manila Bulletin and Tempo last week, seems like there has been an effort to effect change in PSI the soonest possible time.

Giongco wrote in his news article that three swim personalities were to meet the Philippine Olympic Committee last Monday to discuss the holding of an election so PSI can begin earnest preparations for the August 19-31 sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur.

Though this move may sound a welcome development to finally effect the needed change in the organization, again, is this month or next month the perfect timing? …. while we are now suppose to be in the thick of preparations for 2017 SEA Games?

So when is the perfect timing for a total revamp?

Based on our swimmers’ performance in Season 2016 and first month of 2017, realistically, only Jasmine Alkhaldi and James Deiparine have the chance of winning a gold medal at this year’s SEA Games; plus, the Women’s 4x200m Freestyle relay team of Alkhaldi, Nicole Oliva, Hannah Dato and Rosalee Mira Santa Ana.

Now, here’s a question.

If PSI will have an election this month or next month, will our chance of winning a gold medal at this year’s SEA Games change?

If I were to answer this question, the answer is a BIG NO!

An election before SEA Games cannot change the fact that Philippine Swimming only has Alkhaldi, Deiparine and our Women’s 4x200m Free quartet as possible gold medal contenders in Malaysia this August.

An election before SEA Games cannot change the fact that Philippine Swimming has a depleted seniors team.

So why is there a need to have an election before SEA Games, if for the time being there is an urgent need for everybody to unite and work as one to ensure that our depleted bets for this year’s SEA Games will finally deliver gold medals for the country?

If Gionco’s report is true, why would those three swim personalities rather sit down with POC to plan an urgent PSI election, when they can instead sit down with Secretary General Lanie Velasco and National Coach Archie Lim and help come up with the right program for our swimmers bound for Kuala Lumpur?

Why oh why? Why can’t people wait after SEA Games, when in fact it is the best thing to do?

A Total Revamp for Philippine Swimming

If these people cannot be stopped, and an election will really push through before SEA Games; or even after SEA Games, the Philippine Swimming community should push for a TOTAL REVAMP!

It’s time to get rid of those non-performing leaders (officers and board members) in the organization, and retain the efficient ones.

The Swim Community should ask the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to require the current officers, national coaching staff and all Board of Directors to submit an individual report detailing what they have done for Philippine Swimming since they got elected / appointed to their respective positions.

Those who were named by Nick Giongco, to have met with POC to plan for an urgent PSI election, should also be required by POC and PSC to submit an individual report detailing what they have done for Philippine Swimming while they were serving the organization or serving PSC.

Past PSI Vice Presidents and Secretary Generals, who are planning to actively participate with PSI affairs again, should also be required by POC and PSC to submit their individual accomplishment report.

These reports should be made available to the entire swimming community for checking!

If any of them are proven to be part of the system that have made Philippine Swimming rotten, then POC, PSC and the Philippine Swimming Community should get rid of them. (shoo! shoo! away from everybody!)

Only current officers and members of the board who have significant contributions to Philippine Swimming will be allowed to stay in their respective positions; while vacant Board of Director positions should be filled with fresh faces in the Philippine Swimming community.

From there, pwedi na mag election!

We have to remember that Mark Joseph assumed PSI Presidency in year 2004, and most of the people in PSI at present have been working with Mark Joseph for over a decade now.

If we want genuine change to take effect in Philippine Swimming, should we trust the same people who have been with the organization for the longest time, but have allowed Philippine Swimming to rot?

Philippine Swimming, You decide!


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