43 days after BluPrint’s second visit to New Clark City, the Athletic Stadium wasn’t just ready – it was up and running. Everything, from the lights, air condition, sound system, scoreboards, down to the underground utilities, was operating, and athletes and coaches were seen training in the field and around the track. MTD president Nicholas David shares how they have been stress-testing everything to ensure that the stadium is safe and operational. “When you’re actually operating it, a stress test is beyond that operational limit. So if it doesn’t break during the stress test, it shouldn’t break during the operations.”
It was October 12, 50 days before the first set of the SEA Games on December 1st, and everybody involved in the construction and building could not be any happier that they made it to the finish line with time to spare.
New Clark City’s Athletic Stadium had its new rubbered track installed with rubber granules that create a soft, bouncy surface that enables athletes to move comfortably. The rubbered track was provided by Polytan, one of the world’s leading outdoor synthetic sports flooring manufacturers. It was built to last for 5-10 years, with the top surface not needing a reground until the 7th year.
Inside the warm-up area are world-class equipment from Technogym such as programmable treadmills, rowing machines, paddle-shifted bikes, all-in-one cable stations, and an indoor Polytan rubber track. In preparation for the SEA Games, athletes use the warm-up area 2-3 days a week, depending on the training program of their coaches.
A total of 42 people – 30 athletes, 10 coaches, and 2 marshalls have been training and residing inside New Clark City since August 19 and they testified that the new facilities have been of great help in preparation for the SEA Games. “Back in Rizal and Ultra, the brittle tracks are just not suitable to train our athletes anymore,” says Philippine Athletic and Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Coach Jojo Posadas, husband of Long Jump Queen Elma Muros-Posadas.
With the new athletic stadium, coaches and athletes say that the Philippines is finally keeping up with international sports facilities. PATAFA Deputy Training Director Sean Guevarra says that “In comparison to all the stadiums here in our country, New Clark City’s is the best.” Both PATAFA coaches also shared that in line with this new development, the Rizal Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila and Ultra in Pasig City are both undergoing renovation.
BCDA President Vince Dizon states that what makes him most fulfilled about the development of New Clark City is seeing the athletes use the facilities. “ It’s about having our athletes appreciate and value the things that we’ve done and I believe that this is something that will inspire them to do better for the country.”
SEE EARLIER IMAGES: Athletic Stadium 95% complete 33 days before turnover on August 31st
Photographed by Ed Simon