WITH solely three months left earlier than the thirty first Southeast Asian Video games (SEAG) kicks off in Vietnam, coaches are busy coaching their athletes to organize them for the robust battle forward.
Karate head coach Chino Veguillas mentioned his gamers are decided to win.
“I feel we’ve an excellent probability. Morale is excessive and the athletes are centered,” mentioned Veguillas, who mentored the workforce from 1998 to 2004 and from 2018 till now.Veguillas is a World Karate Federation (WKF) and Asian Karate Federation (AKF) licensed coach. He’s additionally a registered kata and kumite referee.
Veguillas famous that what the workforce achieved final yr is an efficient indication of how keen the athletes are to show their price within the SEAG to be hosted by Hanoi on Might 12 to 23.
CHAMPION Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii celebrates her victory within the ladies’s kumite-50kg within the 2021 Karate 1 Premier League in Cairo, Egypt in September final yr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii bagged the gold medal within the kumite -50kg class on the WKF Premier League held in Cairo, Egypt final September.
Two months later, Tsukii and Jamie Lim (kumite -61kg) delivered the silver medals whereas Remon Misu (-61kg beneath 21 kumite), Sakura Alforte (ladies’s kata and under-21 kata) and John Enrico Vasquez (males’s kata under-21) received the bronze medals on the Asian Karate Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
“We at all times think about tournaments as an unimaginable studying instrument for our athletes irrespective of the result. Being uncovered to karateka all around the world is vital, simply as being uncovered to completely different referees can also be crucial,” mentioned Veguillas, a gold medalist within the 1993 SEAG.
“I feel that’s one thing that’s typically missed in our sport. The purpose and scoring system in karate may be very completely different from different sports activities. In our case, calls and factors are rather less black and white.”
Being seen and evaluated by referees from all around the world helps the workforce perceive the game somewhat extra and helps athletes zero in on what officers are searching for at that stage, he mentioned.
“Take into consideration kata in the identical means you concentrate on ballroom dancing or determine skating. Your rating is predicated on a mix of technical talent and total approach, however there’s additionally somewhat little bit of a lyrical, story telling factor which might be barely extra subjective. In order that publicity to worldwide referees is invaluable,” mentioned Veguillas.
“Each competitors offers us one thing to concentrate on, sensible expertise and notes that we are able to work on once we return into coaching. Junna did very properly in Cairo, which was a world match. Her achievements positively speaks to her stage of talent within the sport.”
The pandemic has affected the coaching of most athletes, however the karate workforce was in a position to deal with the difficult state of affairs.
GOLD MEDALIST Jamie Lim will get a hug from her mom, former Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Darlene Marie Berberabe, after profitable the ladies’s kumite 61 kg through the 2019 SEA Video games in Manila. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
“Naturally, as a contact sport, certainly one of our greatest challenges early within the pandemic was changing to a web based no-contact coaching type. Whereas it was unimaginable that we might proceed to coach because of expertise, being in the identical room together with your workforce and coaches is one thing you can’t replicate through Zoom,” mentioned Veguillas
“We now have since moved to a coaching bubble in Baguio the place we are able to all commune and decide the place we left off. Nonetheless, the bubble comes with its personal challenges. Psychological well being has been an enormous focus of ours. If you’re in a bubble, you are away from family and friends for prolonged durations of time. So a big a part of our position as coaches is to keep up a optimistic and productive ambiance for our gamers,” he added.
Contemplating the restricted time for preparation, Veguillas mentioned the athletes have remained optimistic.
“Regardless of all the things that the pandemic has thrown at us, I need to say we really feel ready, and the workforce is extraordinarily motivated to do their greatest,” he mentioned.
Solely the very best
The Karate Pilipinas Sports activities Federation Inc. or just often called Karate Pilipinas makes positive that solely the very best athletes get slots within the nationwide workforce.
“Like all of the groups, we should undergo a proper choice course of and naturally, their efficiency within the 2019 SEA Video games might be considered. Our predominant and first purpose has at all times been to symbolize the Philippines with our greatest athletes,” mentioned Veguillas.
“Pre-pandemic, we might maintain nationwide championships to find out who competes. Nonetheless, as a result of restrictions, we should make our determination based mostly on earlier efficiency and their efficiency through the coaching bubble.”
The workforce received two golds, one silver and 9 bronze medals within the final SEAG.The medalists have been Tsukii (-50 kg kumite), Lim (kumite +61kg), gold; Sonny Montalvo (kumite -55kg), silver; and Vasquez (males’s particular person kata), Sarah Pangilinan (ladies’s particular person kata), Vasquez, March Manantan, Adam Bondoc (males’s workforce kata), Nicole Dantes, Ronaldene Flores, Rebecca Torres (ladies’s workforce kata), Jason Macaalay (kumite -60kg), Ivan Agustin (kumite -75kg), Sharief Afif (kumite+75kg), Mae Soriano (kumite -55kg) and Joane Bernice Orbon (kumite -61kg), bronze.
“We have been ranked fifth in karate within the 2019 SEA Video games. However what was extra vital for us was the overall variety of medals received by our workforce, 12 out of 13 occasions. Which suggests we received a medal in nearly all occasions aside from one. It simply reveals that we’re heading in the right direction by way of our program. Karate Pilipinas teaching workers is off to begin,” mentioned Veguillas
Malaysia topped the karate medal standing with 4 golds and 4 silvers adopted by Thailand (3-2-3), Vietnam (2-3-6), Indonesia (2-3-4), Philippines (2-1-9), Laos (0-0-2), Brunei (0-0-1) and Myanmar (0-0-1).
“Our best problem would be the host nation Vietnam and naturally, you may’t depend Indonesia and Malaysia out,” mentioned Veguillas.
He mentioned extra tournaments are lined up for the workforce in preparation for the SEAG.
“We simply completed competing within the Asian Championships. Subsequent on our calendar are the Premier League tournaments, SEAKF and different tournaments in Europe as a result of a part of our program is a coaching camp in Turkey and Japan,” he mentioned.
Helping Veguillas in dealing with the workforce are Junel Perenia, Sonny Monsalvo and Rhodee Saavedra who’re all medalists throughout their stints within the nationwide workforce.
Perania is an AKF licensed coach. He was a former workforce captain of the nationwide workforce, profitable the silver within the 2001 SEA Video games. He received the gold within the 2001 Hong Kong Asian Invitational Championship and the 2019 World Police and Fireplace Video games. He’s the top coach of the Philippine Nationwide Police karate workforce.
Monsalvo can also be an AKF licensed coach. He pocketed the gold medal within the 2007 Asia Pacific Shitoryu Karatedo Championships and bagged the bronze medal within the 2005 AKF Championships.
He retired after profitable the 2019 SEAG gold medal within the kumite -55kg class to focus on the nationwide workforce’s power and conditioning. He has accomplished a diploma in Train and Sports activities Science in UP Diliman. He serves as power and conditioning coach of F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Manila Stars Basketball Workforce and De La Salle College Girls’s Basketball Workforce.
Saavedra is a Stage 1 coach and attended the PSC-PSI Nationwide Sports activities Teaching Certification Course in 2020. He received the gold (kumite) and the silver (kata) within the 2001 Penisola Sorrentina Karate Championships and received one other silver within the 2005 Asian Karate Championships.
Veguillas acknowledges the significance of getting a overseas coach and the nationwide workforce has one, Okay Arpa of Turkey, a former world champion athlete and coach.
“Coach Okay has been an incredible addition to our teaching workforce. Turkey has had a profitable historical past with karate. So his expertise in approach and preparation has been invaluable to us. He additionally facilitated abroad coaching camps and exchanges by means of his worldwide community of coaches. He additionally taught public digital on-line karate courses for different karatekas,” mentioned Veguillas.
“He was a part of our teaching workers throughout our extremely profitable SEA Video games in 2019, and he continues to assist us put together for upcoming tournaments,” he added.
Karate Pilipinas is grateful for the assist of the Philippine Sports activities Fee (PSC).
“The PSC assisted us and gave us entry to all of the sources out there to them by way of coaching amenities, and compliance with the varied necessities as a way to create a protected and profitable setting for our athletes through the pandemic. This included vaccination packages, assist at worldwide tournaments and entry to high professionals relating to coaching strategies, wellness and psychological well being for our gamers,” mentioned Veguillas.
“I additionally suppose, now, greater than ever, even regardless of the pandemic, the Philippines has rallied behind its athletes at worldwide competitors. We noticed this on the 2019 SEA Video games, and we noticed this on the Tokyo Olympics. Regardless of having a comparably small delegation, Filipinos tuned in and supported the athletes in methods we’ve by no means seen earlier than. I feel the PSC can take some credit score for that as properly,” he additional mentioned.
Other than the PSC, the workforce will get funding from the non-public sponsors.
“Our workforce has needed to supply their very own non-public funding, particularly for abroad tournaments. Elevating funds for coaching and match bills is without doubt one of the difficult components of being an athlete and a coach. Company funding performs an enormous position and the PSC finances can also be restricted and depending on what the present administration allocates. It will be nice if the non-public firms noticed the worth of investing in our nationwide athletes,” mentioned Veguillas.
“Our quick time period plan is to take care of our athletes and put together them for our upcoming tournaments — bodily, emotionally, mentally. We want to make them sturdy for the game, and robust of their want to enhance and prepare. In fact, our purpose is at all times to put and win,” mentioned Veguillas.
“Our long run plan is to create an actual presence for karate as a sport within the Philippines as a way to preserve a strong coaching pool of athletes and create a sustainable future for the game, in order that years down the road, we are going to at all times have the nation’s greatest and brightest representing the nation.”