By Gab Ferreras, contributing writer
As early as now, the Philippine Sambo Team are all excited to participate in upcoming competitions including the 2022 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games set this March in Thailand. But the huge challenge under the new leadership of long-time Davaoeno martial arts practitioner Paolo Tancontian as the new president of the Pilipinas Sambo Federation is to find a suitable place in Metro Manila for their face-to-face training, subject to the guidelines presented by the IATF.
"Unang-una po sa lahat kasi yung Central Gym, wala po kaming common practice area, yun ang #1 na inaasikaso ngayon na magkaroon ng training area sa Manila at saka yung bubble training kasi hindi pa allowed ang combat sports, yun ang isa sa mga problema at pangalawa, yung online training continous pa rin pero iba talaga yun since malapit na ang World Championship this coming November, talagang minamadali namin na magkaroon kaagad ng gym para may common practice area at saka yung upcoming Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games sa Thailand next year, isa rin sa mga pinaghahandaan po namin kasi panay combat yung mga laro.", Tancontian said during last week's TOPS Usapang Sports on Air forum aired on Sports on Air's social media accounts.
Tancontian, who recently elected as their new head during the elections held last August 21, revealed that they have already requested to the PSC and POC to find a venue for the PH Sambo Team's training bubble either in Metro Manila or in Baguio and to fund their campaign at the World Championships scheduled for November.
There were plans to have a training bubble at the FEU-NRMF in Quezon City, but later shelved due to safety reasons, citing its location nearby hospital.
Currently, the team is composed of 8 members, spearheaded by SEA Games gold medalist Mark Streigl and champion siblings Sydney and Chino Sy, and they are concentrate on their online training at the comfort of their homes in their provinces, in accordance with the quarantine restrictions. PSF are looking to add up more members to solidify their lineup.
Tancontian also disclosed his plans for the Federation under his watch, including promoting Sambo as a fitness routine and to include the sport in the Palarong Pambansa and the collegiate leagues such as UAAP and NCAA.
"Yan ang pinaplano, gusto naming ma-propagate at makilala ang Sambo na isa nang Olympic sport, by using e-book at USB containing videos, yun lang ang pwedeng gawin natin na mag-solo exercise lang sa bahay at alam nila ang mga basics ng Sambo. Target din namin ang school-based kasi once makuha namin sa mga schools and also the P.E. teachers, siguro mas lalong dumami ang Sambo trainers, mas lalong dadami rin ang mga members, yun ang target namin this year.", Tancontian concluded.