THE PhilCycling—inspired not only by the competitive nature of its sport but more importantly its contribution to saving the environment—will push for the reactivation of cycling as a regular sport in the Palarong Pambansa the soonest in 2016.
In a resolution forged during the federation board’s meeting that coincided with the kickoff leg of the Asean Mountain Bike Cup Series in Danao City, Cebu, on Saturday, PhilCycling Chairman Bert Lina and President, Tagaytay Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, and the board agreed the annual Palarong Pambansa would significantly support their grassroots development program centered on finding young talent and developing them into potential national athletes.
But the competitive aspect of cycling is just one of the objectives why the PhilCycling wanted its sport back in the Palaro.
“Cycling is no longer just a sport or a hobby or a form of physical fitness—it is an advocacy to help save the environment,” said Tolentino, adding representations will be made with the Department of Education through Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, the Palarong Pambansa Secretary General.
“The campaign to use the bicycle practically every day—as a mode of transportation to and from the work place and schools—has gone global and almost every country in the world is one in promoting the bicycle to help halt global warming,” said Lina, considered as the godfather of Philippine cycling, and who bankrolls the annual international multi-stage Le Tour de Filipinas.
Former Tour champion Modesto Bonzo of Pangasinan initiated the move to bring cycling back to the Palaro. He was fully backed by fellow-ex champion Paquito Rivas and former stars Juancho Ramores and Cornelio Baylon, who both started their illustrious careers in the Palarong Pambansa as cyclists during their high school years in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Danao City Administrator Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez, the PhilCycling Technical Commission head, vowed to encourage his province of Cebu to help in the campaign and pledged to create a mountain bike program suitable for kids of elementary and high school age.