2021 has been quite the year for Philippine Sports. After our stellar performance at the 2020 Olympics, we are celebrating yet another milestone. The future looks bright for aspiring Filipino athletes with the opening of an educational institution primarily invested in cultivating talent – the National Academy of Sports!
Located in New Clark City Sports Complex, the National Academy of Sports (NAS) has already opened its doors to the first batch of student-athletes. And unlike traditional colleges and universities, NAS has specialized sports-oriented curriculum to ensure that our athletes receive proper training. A step closer to them realizing their dreams!
Recognizing and Developing the Filipino Student-Athlete
The first batch of 52 student-athletes are all scholars, and are currently enrolled for the 2021 – 2022 school year. NAS Deputy Executive Director Emil Arroyo explains that this inaugural batch will be trained by eight teachers from Department of Education (DepEd) Region 3. They will start remote learning modalities for now, amid the ongoing pandemic.
“The modality for learning this school year will primarily be online remote learning, but this will be supplemented with digitized modules. We will also be conducting both synchronous and asynchronous classes, as well as sports training for our pioneering batch,” explains Arroyo.
The NAS, created through Republic Act No. 11470, is actually a newly-established attached agency of the DepEd. It works in close coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). NAS has three core divisions: sports science, support services, and academics. These will serve as the basis for forming a holistic program for our student-athletes.
The goal of NAS is to recognize and develop exceptionally talented students from all sectors of the Philippines. This includes indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.
“We are having a National Academy of Sports for those who want to take up sports not only as something they do as they are growing up, but also as a profession, as a way of learning more about the science of the body. The virtues of honesty and sportsmanship will also be developed at the NAS,” said DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
A Holistic Approach to Training
This month, NAS students will study through distance learning as in-person classes are not yet allowed. However, once allowed, students will actually reside in the dormitories in New Clark City.
NAS Executive Director Josephine Reyes explains that the curriculum is similar to DepEd’s for junior to senior high students. However, all subjects are actually “infused with sports.”
Aside from their general academic subjects, students will also be trained in their chosen sport. Eventually, they will be given a chance to join international competitions.
“I think the uniqueness of the curriculum is that it is really intended to further enhance the abilities and skills of student athletes and they should be academically competent as well,” said Reyes.
It’s exciting to see an institution guaranteeing our student athletes a shot at their dreams. The National Academy of Sports and its students are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Who knows, maybe the next future Filipino Olympian is already starting his/her journey there!