Pacquiao as fitness guru

WORLD boxing champion Manny Pacquiao’s public announcement that he will soon retire from boxing did not actually come as a big surprise to his local fans.

This is so as Pacquiao representing the congressional district of Sarangani has been forthright on his desire to run for higher office.

He has reportedly set his eyes for a gubernatorial seat in 2013 and probably, a senatorial seat in 2016 since he is not qualified by age to run for vice president then.

If such is the political path Pacquiao wishes to pursue, then he should stop spreading himself thinly.

Rising to world fame, he has now become a poster boy of almost any good causes, the most recent of which is being a bible ambassador for the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

I wish Pacquiao will take heed of the reason why he had enjoyed such fame.

He is popular not because he is a politician, but because he is a boxing icon who rose from poverty to become one of the wealthiest sports personalities in the world today.

With the pitiful state of the country’s sports, Pacquiao’s help is badly needed.

Being a respected sports icon, he can do so much to inspire not only our pool of sports enthusiasts but also, most especially, those who aspire to join the fray.

Pacquiao should follow the path taken by professional bodybuilder-turned-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who, prior to running for elective office, was appointed as chairman of former President George Bush’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

From 1990 to 1993, Schwarzenegger traveled across the US promoting physical fitness to school children and lobbying all 50 governors to support after-school fitness programs, which later on was popularly known as “After-School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002.”

Pacquiao can focus his attention and energy to the development of our physical education in primary and secondary public schools nationwide, which in such bad shape.

The special training he has received from his boxing career is his best tool of honing future athletes.

Besides, sports teaches discipline among our school children, instills values of fair play and sportsmanship, fuels the fire for healthy competitiveness among ourselves, and ultimately, builds a happy, healthy nation.

A sound mind in a healthy body.

Then we can truly claim that we are no longer the sick man of Asia.

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