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Curling seeks POC membership

A WINTER sports from the Philippines wants to apply as a regular member to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and expresses its desire to represent the nation in the upcoming competitions like in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milano Cortina, Italy.

CWSAP President Benjo Delarmente is preparing to take his shot at the recent curling sports tournament

Newly-formed Curling Winter Sports Association of the Philippines Inc. (CWSAP) President Benjo Delarmente has already announced its intention to become part of the POC family this year as the country's legitimate curling sports body.

“We, the Curling Winter Sports Association of the Philippines, are applying for membership with the Philippine Olympic Committee in order to represent and bring home glory for our country in the international winter competitions,” Delarmente said.

Joining Delarmente to the CWSAP are fellow officers Vice-President and Secretary Joselito M. Cruz, Secretary-General Charles Walker, Board of Trustees Donna Umali, Micha Ella Suarez, Alan Frei and Jim Palomar Apelar who is the President of the Philippines Ski and Snowboard Federation.

Delarmente said that the CWSAP has a total of 20 members that include 15 Filipino athletes who have already competed in the World Men's World Junior Curling Championship and US Women's and US Junior Curling Championships.

Curling, which was first played in 1924 Chamonix Winter Olympics before being reinstated in the 1998 Nagano games, is an Olympic and Paralympic winter team sports played on ice where two teams take it in turns to slide the granite stone towards a target known as a house.

“We have a realistic shot at qualifying for the 2026 because most of our athletes can become highly-skilled in this sports, while some of them are competing already in several competitions abroad,” Delarmente added.

If the CWSAP gets a full membership recognition from the POC and then admitted later on by the World Curling Federation (WCF), CWSAP will be the second NSA from Southeast Asia, next to Thailand.

He explained that curling is an Olympic and Paralympic winter sport with medal disciplines for Women's, Men's, Mixed Doubles and mixed Wheelchair teams.

“It has both mental and physical components to it. And in my opinion you can also describe it as a combination of bowling, billiards, and chess on ice, three sports activities that Filipinos love.”

CWSAP, he said, is hoping to make it to the 2026 Winter Olympics since no Filipino curler has made it to the world's grandest winter sporting spectacle even in 1924 although there are many Filipinos who represented the other winter sports throughout the years.

First, the Philippines needs to win Division B of the Pan-Continental Curling Championship this year to get into Division A in 2024. If we place in the top 5 in 2024, then we go to the World Championships in 2025.

“Any country that competed in a world championship will be eligible to compete at the Olympic qualifying event that has 3 spots,” Delarmente explained.

He is hoping that CWSAP will soon be accepted by the POC — under the leadership of President Abraham Tolentino — as among the country's legitimate winter national sports associations (NSAs) in curling like the Philippines Ski and Snowboard Federation and the Philippine Skating Union.

But if there are other sports body claiming to represent the same NSA in the Philippines, an objection to the membership application of the applying NSA should be presented before the POC membership body within a period of fifteen days from the date of publication based on the POC requirements.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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