Throughout his coaching career, Nolito “Boy’’ Velasco helped mold several Filipino Olympians, including his younger brothers Roel and Onyok Velasco, the last two Olympic medalists that the country had in the sport.
So it’s only fitting that the continuous work and contributions of the longtime amateur boxing coach be recognized and rewarded as well.
Velasco stands to get an increase in pay from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), something that he deserves like four other national coaches from different sports who dedicated themselves to finding hidden gems in their respective disciplines.
Together with Velasco, coaches Paeng Nepomuceno of bowling, track and field’s George “Jojo’’ Posadas, chess grandmaster Eugene Torre, and taekwondo’s Igor Mella have been identified by the PSC to receive P100,000 each.
“The (PSC) board will approve it as a recognition to our top Filipino coaches who are deserving and have been serving the national team. We want their pay grade to be at par with other foreign coaches,’’ PSC Chair William Ramirez said.
Ramirez explained that the recommendation came from the PSI-NSA (Philippine Sports Institute-national sports association) affairs under its head Annie Ruiz whose office spent genuine evaluations based on a set of criteria.“It’s already approved in principle. The PSI and the NSA affairs will just have to finalize the qualifications,’’ said PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez.However, there’s a catch. Coaches who take the offer should focus solely on their athletes in the national team.
The new rate of Velasco and company will match the monthly take of foreign coaches, who usually earn a minimum of $2,000 (roughly P100,000). At present, top local coaches receive half of the P100,000 offer.
Velasco contributed to the success of Roel, who claimed a bronze medal in 1992 in Barcelona, and the silver of Onyok in Atlanta in 1996. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.