By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental and the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) have both committed to open a weightlifting gym in the province in order to further promote the sport to the public.
The gym will be named in honor of Hidilyn Diaz, the first Olympic gold medalist for the country.
During last Friday’s press conference, SWP President Monico Puentevella said he had formal talks with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and it was decided that the new gym will be constructed at provincial government-owned property right beside a boxing gym which was also named in honor of 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.
He also revealed that Diaz has donated P1 million worth of weightlifting equipment directly to the Philippine Sports Commission and the SWP which will then be given to various local government units in the country to further develop the sport.
On Friday, Diaz was declared an adopted daughter of Negros Occidental in a formal ceremony at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building./DGB, WDJ