Home-grown sports here to stay, say SEA Games chiefs

first_imgJoeart Jumawan and Alvin Pangan of Philipines during the Chinlone event at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where Chinlone team won the 1st silver for the country.INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZSoutheast Asian Games organizers have given their strong backing to keeping home-grown sports like sepak takraw — as well as the policy of tailoring the program to suit the host country.The biennial Games, whose 29th edition is underway in Malaysia, are known for their distinctive regional sports and unashamed home-nation bias.ADVERTISEMENT PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “So yes, we will certainly have Olympic sports where we want to do well in Southeast Asia… but we also have to cater for sports that are popular within the region.”Ball-juggling sport sepak takraw, played with the feet and a rattan ball, and the martial arts of pencak silat and wushu are among the disciplines that remain little-known outside of Asia.The current, 11-nation SEA Games also feature lawn bowls, petanque, Muay Thai boxing and figure skating among their diverse schedule of 38 sports.“Sepak takraw is very much a regional sport and very popular, so we have to ensure that those sports are properly covered,” said Tunku Imran. “And then you have to give some opportunity to the host country to win some medals.”ADVERTISEMENT PH volleybelles bow to Vietnam, draw Thailand in semis The hosts have topped the medals table at six of the last 10 editions, and Malaysia look set to finish top in Kuala Lumpur — for the first time since they last hosted the Games in 2001.The current Games feature only one Olympic champion, Singapore’s US-based swimmer Joseph Schooling, reflecting Southeast Asia’s struggles on the world stage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut Games organizers said there were no plans to revise the SEA Games’ approach of showcasing colorful regional pursuits such as pencak silat to focus more closely on Olympic sports.“The Olympic sports are very, very important, but some countries don’t have facilities for many of the Olympic sports,” said SEA Games Federation president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief According to the SEA Games charter, athletics and aquatics, which includes swimming and diving, are compulsory, and the hosts then choose at least 14 sports from a list of 38 which feature at the Olympics or Asian Games.The home country can also pick between two and eight sports out of 16 listed in a third category, which includes the Southeast Asian favourites.“We try to do a balance of what’s compulsory, what’s on the programme of the Olympic Games and Asian Games,” said Low Beng Choo, secretary of the Games’ sports and technical committee.“But we also give the host country an opportunity to choose the regional or the sub-regional sports that are good for the host country.” Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img

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