CAPAS, TARLAC — In preparation for the upcoming South East Asian (SEA) Games, national athletes tested the new and modern sports facilities at the New Clark City during the pre-qualifying competitions held here, in the field of swimming and athletics. Competition winners will be part of the national team for the SEA Games which will run from November 30 to December 11.
The 1st Philippine National Open Swimming Championships organized by the Philippine Swimming, Inc., was held in the 2,000-seater Aquatics Center and will run from August 31 to September 3.
Meanwhile, the final leg of the 2019 Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Weekly Relay Series will be held at the 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium on September 1, from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“Before, these facilities were just a dream. Now, I’m happy to see our athletes training here as they make their country proud in the upcoming biennial games. The facilities are proof that government is serious in providing our athletes with a sports center that is truly world-class,” BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon said.
This was also the first time that the road from New Clark City to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) was used by the athletes. The road will boost accessibility in the area and ease traffic especially during main events.
The newly finished Athletics Stadium and Aquatics Center meet the standards of international governing bodies, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA). Inspired by native features, the facilities were designed and built to show the resiliency of the Filipino spirit.
The Athletics Stadium takes inspiration from the “caldera” or crater of Mt. Pinatubo and the organic lahar material of the concrete. The stadium features a world-class 400-meter, nine-lane standard track.
The design for the Aquatics Center shows the coastal heritage of the Filipino people, depicting Capiz shells used as windows, while the structural faming mimics the weaving patterns of the “baklad’” or woven fish nets.
The Athletes’ Village inside the New Clark City sports complex will serve as home of the athletes, officials, and international volunteers for the entire duration of the 2019 SEA Games. It will have 525 rooms, 95 of which are for PWDs, gym amenities, kitchen and dining areas, conference rooms, and other recreational facilities.
After SEA Games, the facilities will be used by our athletes for training, and will serve as venues for events, concerts, and other sports events.
*Photos: Some shots during Day 1 of the 1st Philippine National Open Swimming Championships 2019.