Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Younger youngsters attend the ground-breaking ceremony for Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo’s latest weightlifting academy. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

From Olympic weightlifting gold medalist to philanthropist.

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo proved she is greater than only a beacon of hope by offering one thing extra tangible that may assist younger athletes take the identical path to glory she did: A coaching middle in Jala-Jala, Rizal province, that she hopes will function a manufacturing unit mill that may produce lifters like her.

“With all of the blessings that I earned and obtained, I’ve to provide again to the group,’’ stated Diaz-Naranjo in the course of the groundbreaking of her HD Weightlifting Academy within the fourth-class municipality situated in a peninsula round 70 kilometers southeast of Manila.

Diaz-Naranjo’s proposed 108-square meter (sqm) single-storey coaching facility will rise on the middle of the couple’s 7,000-sqm property in Sitio Manggahan.

Diaz-Naranjo’s husband and coach, Julius Naranjo, will function the academy’s chief coach and coach. The couple started informally coaching a couple of dozen youngsters aged 5 to 17 final yr in a makeshift fitness center inside a storage.

“That is the beginning of one thing we actually wish to do, the start of what we try to realize,’’ stated Diaz-Naranjo, whose rise to fame started as an 18-year-old entry within the 2008 Beijing Olympics earlier than gaining extra expertise within the 2012 London Olympics.

The delight of Zamboanga Metropolis lastly reached the medal podium with a silver within the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics previous to her golden breakthrough within the 2021 Tokyo Summer season Video games.

The couple expects the academy to be accomplished earlier than the second quarter of subsequent yr with hopes of rising and sustaining the power by the assistance of sponsors.

“For the meantime, ours is simply an ‘outreach fitness center.’ We start by addressing the wants of the athletes right here in our group first,’’ stated Diaz-Naranjo.

The design of the power contains 4 platforms, three of which has room for twenty-four athletes coaching concurrently in two-hour periods. The remaining platform will accommodate athletes who wish to relaxation.

Paris coaching camp

The power will likewise function coaching floor for Diaz-Naranjo’s bid for a fifth straight Olympics in 2024 Paris in addition to her 19-year-old protege Rosegie Ramos, who’s aiming to hitch the Filipino weightlifting heroine within the French capital subsequent yr.

This early, Diaz-Naranjo has additionally made it clear that youngsters won’t commit their whole time to weightlifting. The academy would require the younger athletes to deal with their education as nicely.

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo turned the nation’s biggest sporting heroine after her golden efficiency in Tokyo. —FILE PHOTO

“It’s a requirement. Typically we offer scholarships to assist them develop into good residents that may finally result in a greater life for his or her households,’’ stated Diaz-Naranjo, who made time for her research amid her busy schedule and accomplished her diploma in enterprise administration at Faculty of St. Benilde.

The academy comes at a time when Diaz-Naranjo feels the momentum of the game is rising within the nation.

“Youngsters come to our facility day by day, though not everybody survives the coaching. We educate them on focus, self-discipline and dedication with out vices and different actions that would have an effect on their progress,’’ stated Diaz-Naranjo.

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The groundbreaking on Sunday was additionally attended by Philippine Sports activities Fee (PSC) chair Richard Bachmann and PSC government director Paulo Francisco Tatad. INQ

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