Prominent businessman-philanthropist Antonio L. Tiu was unanimously elected as the new president of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines following a recent online-meeting by its Board of Trustees.
This development was announced by Prof. Robert Milton Calo, FESSAP Executive Vice President, who presided over the regular Board of Trustees due to the absence of erstwhile president Angel Ngu, who was unavailable due to an international trip.
Prof. Calo and Atty. Maria Luz Arzaga-Mendoza, who was designated the Chair of the Election Committee, oversaw the election proceedings that brought Tiu to the organization’s highest post.
Tiu is not new to the FESSAP, for he was the Philippines’ Head of Delegation to the 27th Summer Universiade held in Kazan, Russia in 2013, when the country bagged its first-ever gold medal in Universiade history by way of Grandmaster Wesley So in men’s chess.
At the time, Tiu headed the FESSAP Board of Trustees and was subsequently named as the Honorary Chairman of FESSAP from 2013-2015.
Tiu has a herculean task ahead as the year-long pandemic remains unchecked and sports competitions worldwide have slowed down, if not totally scrapped for the health and safety of the athletes.
But Tiu is not to shy away from challenges that have come in his way as evidenced by his past contributions to FESSAP.
Under Ngu’s leadership, the Philippines copped its second Universiade gold medal through national athlete E.J. Obiena’s victory in the men’s pole vault.
Tiu will also serve for a two-year term (2021-23) and is expected to pursue some of the activities and programs left behind by Ngu.
The Board confirmed that Ngu is also named FESSAP Honorary Life President, the same honor conferred on former FESSAP president David U. Ongafter his term ended in 2017.
“I am ready to serve the FESSAP to my best of my ability,” said the much-revered Antonio Tiu, who heads Agri Nurture Inc. (ANI), one of the leading agricultural businesses in the country. “Notwithstanding the pandemic, we hope to come up with sports programs, including on-line training and seminars, that will keep the student-athletes mentally active and vibrant during the pandemic times.”
The FESSAP is the sole national university sports organization officially recognized by the International University Sports Federation. It is also affiliated with other prestigious international organizations such as Asian University Sports Federation, Asia Pacific University Sports Union and ASEAN University Sports Council as the country’s representative.
The current FESSAP Board of Trustees is headed by Alvin Tai Lian, the Chairman of the Board. Atty. Baldomero C. Estenzo from the University of Cebu is the Vice-Chairman.
Other than Tiu and Prof. Calo, the other members of the FESSAP Board of Trustees are co-Vice President Dr. Jesus Rodrigo Torres of the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) and Mr. Felix O. Tiukinhoy Jr. of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI); Secretary General Graham C. Lim; Treasurer Miss Jeane E. Monteverde; Board Secretary Miss Maria Cecilia V. Sarmiento; and Directors Miss Alma M. Jocson from the Private Schools Association (PRISSA), Miss Lualhati Dela Cruz from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Miss Ann Janeth G. Garcia (her alternate Mr. JC A. Clarito) of FISU Ambassador, Mr. Sean Elijah W. Siy of the FESSAP’s Student-Athletes Union (SAU), Mr. Joseph A. Sy from the Philippine Inter-School Sport Association (PISSA), Mr. Allan D. Soria from the State Colleges Association, and Miss Loren Chloe Balaoing from the Cordillera Administrative Region.
FESSAP intends to take part in the 31st Summer Universiade in Chengdu, China in August 2021 and the 30th Winter Universiade in Lucerne, Switzerland in December 2021.
Moreover, a joint-cooperation and partnership between the FESSAP, headed by Tiu and the Philippine Inter-School Sport Association (which is recognized by the International School Sport Federation -ISF), led by its President Alvin Tai Lian and his Secretary-General Joseph Sy, has been struck to jointly support the high school student-athletes that will compete in the 18th Gymnasiade, also known as the 18th World School Games, in Jinjiang City in China in October 2021.
Moreover, PISSA president Tai Lian has appointed the Honorary Head of Delegation to the 18th Gymnasiade, Yang Hua Hong of Omni Electrical & Lighting.
In addition to his position in the FESSAP hierarchy, Tiu likewise is the president of the National Orienteering of the Philippines, which is affiliated with the International Orienteering Federation that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee .
The FESSAP is undertaking other sports projects but much of its plan is dependent on the containment of the coronavirus.
Among the competitions in the backburner are the Philippine University Basketball League, Philippine University Volleyball League and the Philippine University Swimming League and other different National Students Championships in September or October 2021 that will serve as the qualifying tournament to the 20th ASEAN University Games in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand in June 2022.
Also on hold are qualifying international competitions in archery, athletics, badminton, wushu, swimming, table tennis, and lawn tennis.