Clark turns into a super sport city

  • Other Sports
  • Wednesday, 04 Dec 2019

MANILA was besieged with complaints of poor logistics and transport arrangement in the initial days but the New Clark City Sports Hub has received nothing but high praise.

Built in just 18 months through a joint venture with a Malaysian company MTD Capital Berhad, the sprawling new complex in Tarlac is considered the crown jewel of the 30th SEA Games.

Work started in May last year and the contractors worked under a tight schedule to get everything in order before the Games started on Nov 30.

The centrepiece of the complex is the Athletics Stadium, which seats 20,000 and is designed after Mount Pinatubo.

The posts and facade itself even contained lahar (volcanic debris) from Mount Pinatubo’s eruption back in 2005.

Another eye-catching design is that of the Aquatic Centre, which has a prismatic roof design. It has a 10-lane Olympic pool, an eight-lane training pool and seats 2,000.

Both venues are designed to glow at night.

There is also the seven-block Athletes Village, which is housing about 2,000 athletes.

The Games closing ceremony will take place at this hub on Dec 11 and it will host both the opening and closing of the Asean Para Games in January.

National lawn bowler Emma Firyana Saroji was happy with the facilities at the Athletes Village.

“It is as good as any of the previous big multi-Games we have been to. There is a 24-hour main dining hall serving food at any time of the day. We also have a swimming pool and a basketball court for recreation,” she said.

KL Games women’s marathon winner Mary Joy Tabal said she felt goosebumps and pride after seeing these kind of facilities in her own country.

“I’ve been to the Asian Games and Olympics before, the venues here are as good.

“The rooms in the Athletes Village are even more spacious than the ones in Rio de Janeiro (Olympics in 2016),” said Mary.

The complex will not be a white elephant, either.

The organisers were quick to point out that the complex is just part of a bigger picture.

Plans are in place to make the complex the training facility for the national athletes and to house a proposed Philippines High School for Sports.

New Clark City is also being targeted to be the administrative capital in 20 years time, similar to Putrajaya in Malaysia.

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New Clark City Sports Hub


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