MANILA — Ayala Center For Excellence in Sports (ACES) on Saturday names eight national athletes selected for its pilot program Atletang Ayala.
Launched last March, ACES is part of Ayala’s commitment to nation-building by providing holistic support to the country’s emerging athletic Olympic bets. Ayala believes that sports can inspire and bring together a nation. Hence, through ACES, Ayala finds a way to help the next generation of Filipino athletes achieve their full potential.
“Many of our athletes are already well on the way to becoming internationally competitive in this way. We would like to help support them, by building long-term relationships that will help them become the best they can be in both their athletic and post-athletic careers,” said Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation.
“We believe that this posture of investing in the long-term development of the individual, as both an athlete and as a person, is an effective and sustainable way to build success in Philippine national sports,” he added
The pioneering roster of Atletang Ayala includes:
o Jasmine Alkhadi (29) – Two-time Olympic swimmer and SEAG gold medalist – Double major degree holder in Marketing & Management (Hawaii)
o Andrea Robles (25) – First Filipino Gold Medalist at the Indoor Archery World Series – Dean’s Lister in Management (Ateneo de Manila University)
o Prince Alejo (21) – Youngest nationally ranked karateka – Studying Mechanical Engineering (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)
o Pia Bidaure (24) – World-ranked archer and SEAG medalist – Studying Civil Engineering (Siliman University)
o Xiandi Chua (21) – Nationally-ranked swimmer and SEAG silver medalist and – Dean’s Lister in Business Entrepreneurship (De La Salle University)
o Nat Perez (26) – Philippines’ top foil fencer – Aspiring entrepreneur
o Abby Bidaure (20) – World-ranked national archer and – Studying Psychology (University of St. La Salle – Bacolod)
o Noel Jose (25) – World-ranked fencer – Cum Laude graduate in BS Physical Education (University of Santo Tomas)
Each Atletang Ayala underwent a rigorous screening process that lasted for a month. “We wanted to make sure that athletes in the program were as accomplished and committed to their professional careers as to their athletic careers. We were amazed to find many applicants exhibited precisely those levels of commitment, in each of those areas. The 8 selected are, in our view, the best partners, professionally and athletically,” said Jan Bengzon, ACES Program Director.
Under the Atletang Ayala program, participating Ayala Group companies will offer full-salaried employment opportunities at part-time hours to the selected national athletes while they train for the 2022 Asian Games and the 2024 Olympics.
Athletes selected for the program will also be given free access to the world-class training facilities of the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub (AVSH) in Cavite, which features a 400m track oval built in accordance with the standards of the International Association of Athletics Federations, a FINA-standard Olympic size swimming pool, and an indoor training facility equipped with a sports science laboratory.
AVSH facilities can accommodate training for track/athletics, aquatics, cycling, triathlon, football, rugby, and frisbee.
Further, ACES has partnered with De La Salle University to offer free enrollment in a selection of courses. This benefit will enable athletes to matriculate in DLSU’s world-class programs, eventually earning degrees that will support their career development.
Each Atletang Ayala will be offered a yearly contract that provides for the above benefits and can be renewed annually until the 2024 Olympics, contingent on the attainment of clear performance measures.
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