The water polo competition is one of the four aquatic sports along with swimming, diving, and open water swimming held at the Aquatics Center in New Clark City during the 2019 SEA Games. Among the squad that caught the imagination of sports fans in the country at the 30th SEA Games is the Philippine Men’s National Water Polo Team who capped their magical run with silver while other record-breaking performances by athletes from other countries were also celebrated. Singapore’s star swimmer, and 30th SEA Games gold medalist, Joseph Schooling has described the FINA-certified pool at the Aquatics Center as “beautiful.” But aside from the aesthetics of the entire structure, there are technologies inside the center that support optimum athletic performance that athletes like Schooling have been raving about.
The first public sports event held in New Clark City gathered 1,160 professional and non-professional triathletes in the Philippines with more than 5,000 spectators also joining this two-day event hosted by BCDA in partnership with GoClark Sports and Events. The NCC Triathlon also served as a send-off for the national triathletes who competed in the regional biennial meet. Aside from elite triathletes like Nikko Huelgas and John “Rambo” Chicano, celebrity athletes and kids ages 8 to 14 years old were given the chance to participate in the race that is expected to be staged in NCC every year.
NCC has made a dazzling debut during the 30th SEA Games from 30 November to 11 December 2019 with 92 competitions held here for the first time. Both venues were packed with Filipino sports fans and visitors from neighboring countries and this crowd swelled to as much as 15,000 during the closing ceremony highlighted by performances of Apl.de.Ap, an international singer, Filipino-American rapper, and record producer best known as a member of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas.
Over 50 members of the University of the Philippines swimming team trained at the Aquatics Center with the UP men’s swimming team captain Hans Chua calling the facility “the first of its kind in the Philippines that will really help the development of competitive swimming in the country.”
To drumbeat support from sports community, preliminary and qualifying events for athletics were held in NCC in partnership with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) with its President Philip Juico saying that the New Clark City facilities are at par with the sports facilities of the other countries he had visited such as the ones in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
The first in a series of preliminary and qualifying events for swimming was held in NCC in partnership with the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI). The 1st Philippine National Open Swimming Championships at the 2,000-seater Aquatics Center gathered national athletes including those who were training abroad and looking for world-class and Olympic certified facilities to compete and train in New Clark City for the first time.