Sys to build P1B national sports academy
Encouraged by the Filipinos’ love for sports and athletics, the family of bilyonaryo Henry Sy unveiled plans to to build the country’s first ever sports academy with an initial investment of about P1 billion to help budding athletes hone their skills.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy said the group through National University would develop a world-class sports center in its four-hectare property in Calamba, Laguna, which would serve as the launch pad for the next generation of talented student-athletes.
Other countries in Southeast Asia are investing significant resources to develop their athletes and they are closing the gap.
Sy, who chairs the board of the 116-year old NU, said the academy would offer graduate degrees in sports such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis, among others.
I’m very happy that the board approved it and the siblings approved it because it’s something we believe that can help the country.. not only in terms of sports development but also encourage the youth to go into sports and do away with drugs,” he said.
“We felt this is something we should go into because we want to have sports development but at the same time, we’re also thinking of the athletes’ welfare.. what happens to them after their prime years? We want to be able to give them certain education that will help them in the long-term,” he said.
Sy said the academy’s goal is to nurture the young athletes to become the stars of tomorrow. It is targeted to be in full gear by 2018.
Apart from training local professional teams, the academy is also open to training foreign professional players.
The Sy family acquired NU, one of the country’s oldest universities, in 2008 in its bid to improve the state of education in the country.