Hidilyn Diaz to set up scholarship program for young weightlifters
Paul Lintag on Aug 18, 2016 11:19 AM
LOOKING AHEAD. Olympic silver medallist Hidilyn Diaz is going to build a gym and a scholarship program to help train future Philippine weightlifters (File/ AP Photo)
Hidilyn Diaz is looking ahead for a possible gold medal run in the 2020 Olympics but the new national sporting hero also has her sights set on helping the future be ready for 2024 and beyond.
Fresh from winning silver in women's weightlifting in the 53 kg category at the Rio Games, Diaz, in partership with Alsons Power Group, plans to set up a scholarship foundation to help kids get into the sports particularly in her native Zamboanga City.
This comes in line with the gym she plans to built near her home thanks to the cash incentive she's going to receive from the government and the private sector.
The three-time Olympian is excited and happy to get the program started.
"Sobrang happy po dahil made-develop ko talaga sila," Diaz said in a press conference hosted by Alsons Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Hidilyn also said that starting our future athletes young is key to their development for future competitions.
She said that eight years old is the ideal age to set the basics right and start training.
"Mas maganda pag bata. Hindi naman totoo na hindi na lalaki. Maliit lang talaga ako," Diaz said, dispelling the common local belief that lifting heavy weights at a young age will hinder growth.
Diaz herself started training as early as around 10 years old.
It's also important to provide a solid support group for the kids since most of the young ones training in her hometown do not exactly belong to well off families.
The scholarship program also helps keep the kids in school.
Diaz won silver at the Rio Olympics after lfiting a total of 212 kilograms for the snatch and clean and jerk categories.
She's the first woman to wil an Olympic medal for the Philippines and the first winner since Onyok Velasco settled for silver in boxing back in 1996.
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