PH Olympic Committee donates free bicycles to national athletes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — While mass public transportation remains suspended due to COVID-19, the Philippine Olympic Committee hopes to ease their athletes’ travel woes by donating free bicycles.

POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced that national athletes who are in sports under the Olympic program will be given a chance to get a free bicycle for their use to go to their training.

“With the new normal which mandates, we find new ways to go about our daily business, national athletes who do not have a personal mode of transportation will surely benefit from this”, said Tolentino.

The bike industry is enjoying a recent surge in popularity as more commuters opt for the two-wheeled vehicle to get to their destinations while complying with physical distancing guidelines.

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Thursday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año of the IATF also said that they will promote cycling as the primary mode of transport by requiring LGUs to put up bicycle lanes.

“Bicycling is not only a healthy way to get from one point to another, it also promotes social distancing, not to mention a means to avoid traffic” said Tolentino who is also president of the national sports association for cycling.

Initially, Tolentino sought approval from the POC board for 100 bicycle units.

Athletes who want to avail of the program just need to apply via the POC's website, which will allot the bicycles based on those who need them most and on a “first-come-first-served” basis.

“We need to be innovative so the POC is looking for ways to allow our athletes to stay fit and ready for competition once the situation allows it. Obviously bicycling, whether to commute to and from their training venues or even for leisure, is a good way for our national athletes to keep in good physical condition”, Tolentino said.

Applications will run until May 31, 2020.