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From Home to Podium: Honing PH’s future sports champs, flag bearers 

Sports is one of the best ways to build and develop one’s character, discipline, self-esteem and physical skills, especially among the youth. It can also be a springboard for athletes to the podium of success by showcasing their talent, hitting a home run or representing their country on a global stage. 

In 2020, the National Academy of Sports (NAS) was established at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to unleash and mold the athletic potential of Filipino youth, to promote the welfare of young athletes, and to sustain the golden era of Philippine Sports. NAS implements a quality and enhanced secondary education program integrated with a special curriculum on sports. 

Four years after its inception, NAS offers world-class facilities and a holistic development approach to a total of 160 student-athletes and counting from the different parts of the country. 

From national pride to global achievement

The state-of-the-art facilities and climate-resilient learning environment are the salient features that greatly contribute to the advancement of student athletes. Recently, NAS unveiled the brass marker of its Phase 1 which includes the Academic and Administration Building, and Multipurpose Gymnasium. 

The Academic Administration Building is equipped with classrooms, office space, faculty administration rooms, and student services spaces while the Multipurpose Gymnasium features facilities and amenities for the student-athletes. These facilities are at par with international standards and prepare students in their national and international competitions. 

Acey Kiana Oglayon, a Grade 9 student and a member of the Junior National Taekwondo Team, highlighted the significant improvement of her character and skills after enrolling in NAS. 

“I’m grateful for the facilities they have provided us because we have more training hours and access to these facilities. We really feel and appreciate their [NAS] strong support,” she stressed. 

Oglayon brought honor to the Philippines during her competitions in Vietnam and Lebanon. 

Austine Zulaika Macaraeg, one of the pioneer batch of NAS, extended her appreciation and gratitude to the unwavering support of the academy to her Taekwondo journey. 

“I think having new facilities really helps us with proper execution, and develops us as student-athletes. NAS has given us an extra mile on everything. They always support us in both our academics and sports,” she stated. 

Macaraeg shared that she is training rigorously to join the National Team, and to give honor to the country through her sports.

Inculcating sports and academic excellence

Among the mandates of NAS includes the nurturing of young athletes through a holistic approach that supports their academic and athletic excellence. 

Sports Development Officer Erikson Niño Torres affirmed the well-balanced curriculum for the student-athletes with the guidance of professionals, former national team members and champions, and coaches. 

“Actually, we have the NAS Athlete Development Model which is a combination of the long-term athlete development plan. We want them to be competitive in both academics and sports,” he noted. 

Meanwhile, NAS Executive Director Josephine Joy Reyes cited Nationalism, Achievement and Solidarity as their values and bedrock in ensuring that each student will become a well-rounded Filipino athlete ready to be a source of pride for the country.

NAS was created by virtue of Republic Act 11470 to develop more future world-class Filipino athletes, and to provide a conducive environment for the academic, sports training and character development of young athletes.