Ada Milby is setting her sights on the resumption of training of the national rugby teams ahead of next year’s expected hectic schedule.
The newly-elected Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) president said she is ready to unveil the sports body’s protocols amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
“Our first priority will be to restart activities when restrictions are lifted with player welfare and community safety as the primary focus. We have a very robust ‘return to play’ protocol prepared in line with global best practices and IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) guidelines,” Milby said.
With various vaccines being distributed across the globe right now for emergency use, she expressed optimism that the Philippine Volcanoes would finally get to practice once more amid the pandemic.
“I am also hopeful that we can resume national athlete training in 2021 as both our men’s and women’s teams are competing at the elite level of Asia Rugby in the sevens format. From the success of the gold and silver medal performances in the 2019 SEAG (Southeast Asian Games), we want to ensure that we don’t lose the forward momentum of those programs,” she added.
Milby was chosen to be Rick Santos’ successor as the new rugby chief through a unanimous vote during PRFU’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, which was done online.
“Congratulations to Ada in her new role as PRFU president, in addition to her continued roles in Asia Rugby and World Rugby (Council),” Santos said.
Interestingly enough, he was elected unanimously to take over her previous spot as secretary-general.
However, Milby noted that Santos’ presence remains vital considering his contributions to Philippine rugby during his eight-year tenure.
“I’m thankful that Rick will continue to serve in the capacity of sec-gen as it will truly take a team to get through these difficult times and his wisdom will continue to be an essential asset to Philippine rugby,” she said.
Under Santos’ leadership, the Volcanoes soared to the top spot in Southeast Asian rugby, even making it to the top division in Asia Rugby.
The national team also made it to the global stage in sevens play after qualifying for the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The women’s side, known as the Lady Volcanoes, also enjoyed huge success during the past decade.
“Rick’s been tremendous for the PRFU, and serving an eight-year term as president speaks for itself. Luckily for the union, he’s been elected to the role of secretary-general so we can continue to build on the legacy he’s created,” Jake Letts, rugby’s chief executive officer, said.
In acceptance of his new role, Santos said, “I look forward to building on the legacy of rugby development in my new role as secretary-general.”
Meanwhile, William Bailey remains as rugby’s vice president and treasurer as Steve Payne stays on the national sports association’s board as the trustee for sponsorship.
Also elected to the PRFU board were Tim Kong (trustee for performance), Max Stewart (trustee for competitions), and Jaime Urquijo (adviser for development, sponsorship, and business administration). Letts, who presided over the meeting, invited Philippine Olympic Committee representative Valeriano Floro, Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Charles Maxey, and Asia Rugby representative Ghaith Jalajel to oversee the event and the ensuing election.*PNA