(Photo: COPA National Training Director Carlos ‘Pinky’ Brosas and Batangas Congressman Eric Buhain)
THE Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA) announced the resumption of its nationwide program and activities as its holds the 2nd leg of the Reunion Swim Challenge on August 27-28 at the newly-refurbished Teofilo Ildefonso Swimming Pool inside the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
Batangas Congressman Eric Buhain said the swimfest is open to all Filipino, teams or clubs regardless of its affiliations as COPA embarked on its thrust as unifying organization in the swimming community.
“Regardless of your affiliation COPA welcomes everybody with an open arms. Isa lang naman ang interest natin at gusto nating mangyari ito’y ang yumabong ang swimming. We have to train the trainers and the development and improvement of our swimmers followed,” said the swimming icon and elected Representative of Batangas 1st District.
“After more than two years of inaction due to pandemic, finally our young swimmers can now go back to the pool, enjoy the action once again and resumed the clubs grassroots sports development program. Importante, malaman na ng mga swimmers na balik na at puwede na ang kompetisyon,” added Buhain.
The swimming Olympian and former SEA Games record holder formed COPA together with Chito Rivera, Darren Evangelista, Joel Esquivel and Richard Luna in 2020. Today, the group boosts of more than 200 teams/clubs in 11 clusters comprising the 17 regions of the archipelago. It has close to 300 coaches with a total membership (swimmers) of 3,500.
“I remember we started the year with organizing a coaches’ technical seminar through Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas (SMP). We were about to roll out a series of seminars in different parts of the country for the benefit of our coach friends, but the pandemic hit and we had to postpone all the plans,” said Buhain.
“Ngayon, nakakabangon na tayo unti-unti. Tuloy na ang ating mga programa. And COPA has line up a busy schedule for the coming months in preparation for the ‘Big One’ next year,” he added.
Aside of the Reunion Swim Challenge, COPA is holding the 1st Novice Swim Championship slated September 17-18; the Reunion 3rd leg on October 1-2; the Reunion Swim Challenge Championship on Oct. 22-23; Sprint meet with introduction of SKINS Swim event (Nov. 12-13); and Short Course Yuletide Swimming Championship (Dec. 10-11).
COPA National Training Director and Olympian (1972 Munich) Carlos ‘Pinky’ Brosas said they line-up coaching seminars in January next year in five locations – Northern Luzon, NCR, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – with no less than renowned Australian coach Wayne Goldsmith as resource speaker.
COPA is also planning for a partnership to local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Education (DepEd) for the Inclusion of the Public school students in the main stream swimming community with its ‘Train the Trainers Program’ for teachers.
“There are 27 million public school students in the country. May mga facilities naman ang ating mga LGUs, kaya napakalaki ng ating community na mapagkukunan ng talento. Libre ang training, libre and competition, gagawin natin ang lahat para masiguro na makakalikha tayo ng world-class and many more swimming Olympians,” said Buhain.