By Adrian Stewart Co
The recent success of Filipino boxers in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is a sign that a greater investment must be allocated in grassroots training, said Negrense boxing coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco.
According to Velasco, it is important for the sports officials to strengthen the grassroots boxing program for the country to maintain its success in the upcoming international tournaments.
“Our boxers could not continue if there’s no support because they’re poor. They couldn’t even afford to buy gloves,” said Velasco, who handled Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medal winner Eumir Marcial.
“More than the sports officials, it is also important for the parents and local government to support boxing prospects to maintain their development,” added the Negrense boxing coach.
Velasco also said there are several boxers with Olympic potential in the province, just like in his hometown in Bago City, which produces the likes of former Olympians Rogen Ladon and Reynaldo Galido, who is also part of his coaching staff in Tokyo.
“There are many boxing prospects in the provinces, particularly in my province in Bago City. In fact there’s always a Bago City-native boxer before competing in the Olympics until in Tokyo,” Velasco said.
A seasoned boxing coach, Velasco also handled his brothers Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in his silver medal feat in 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Roel Velasco in his bronze medal finish in 1992 Barcelona Olympics./ASC, WDJ