Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA)
For the past months, the following questions had been playing in my mind whenever I have my running workouts and during my participation in weekend road races in Metro Manila and in other provinces:
1) Why is it that there are so many road races every weekend up to the point that at least four road races are being conducted in one day? Is there an instituion or body who should be controlling all of these races?
2) Why is it that there is no uniform registration fee for every road race? Who should be responsible in controlling the registration fee of every road race?
3) Who are the registered and authorized “road organizers”? Who controls the prolifiration of road organizers in the country?
4) Why is it that there are so many running “coaches”? Are these running “coaches” certified and have a permit/s to operate their coaching business? Who controls their “coaching fees”?
5) What is the organization or institution that covers and governs everything about road races and running in the country?
6) Who is going to inspect and determine the presence and quality of support system ( like water, security, medical & emergency needs) to be given to runners during road races?
7) Who determines or certifies a road race if the distance is precise and accurate?
8) Who gives sanctions to race organizers where there are reported cases of stealing and other criminal acts committed during road races?
Through my research, I found out that the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) is the international governing body for Athletics (track and field sports, to include road races) and in among member nations/countries, a National Athletics Federation is the governing body for Athletics. In the Philippines, IAAF’s national athletics federation is the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association which is simply called PATAFA. The PATAFA is so powerful that everything that happens in Athletics in the country should happen under the authority of the federation and nothing should be organized without the approval of the federation. It has a great power and at the same time has a great responsibility!
The roles of PATAFA are:
1) To lead and serve the Federation
2) To manage all aspects of Athletics
3) To build on past successes
4) To ensure a financial basis for present and future activities
5) To act as guardian of the values of the sport and have the responsibility to set an example and promote these values to the benefit of Athletics.
The following are the functions and obligations of the PATAFA:
A) On Governance
1) To be responsible for all aspects of Athletics in the country.
2) To promote the sport of Athletics and the development of an Athletics Culture.
3) To provide an appropriate administrative structure and services for the functioning of the Federation and the sport.
4) To maintain an official list of National Records.
5) To undertake proceedings against athletes who have rendered themselves ineligible and to impose sanctions where appropriate.
6) To undertake proceedings against any individual who may have violated the rules of the Federation and to impose sanctions.
B) On Resources
1) To obtain and manage the financial, human and technical resources required for the functioning of the Federation.
2) To set budgets and maintain financial records.
3) To control expenses.
4) To arrange for an audit of financial statements.
C) On Communications
1) To maintain good relations with and appropriate information to athletes and members of the Federation.
2) To maintain good relations with the government office responsible for sports and other organizations which have an interest in Athletics or may be of assistance to the Federation.
3) To maintain good relations with the media in order to ensure the positive promotion of the sport and the Federation’s activities.
D) On Competitions
1) To promote the development of a program of competitions including national championships.
2) To select and organize teams to participate in international competitions.
3) To maintain a national calendar of Athletics competitions.
4) To provide official sanctions for competitions including those organized by other parties.
E) On Facilities and Equipment
1) To ensure that competition venues and equipment meet the technical specifications mandated by national and international rules.
2) To guarantee the accurate measurements of road courses used for running and race walking competitions.
F) On Officials and Coaches
1) To oversee the recruitment, training, certification, deployment and control of the athletic officials and coaches required to carry out the programs and activities of the sports.
G) On Medical & Scientific
1) To plan and coordinate the delivery od sports medicine services to athletes.
2) To plan and coordinate the delivery of scientific services to coaches and athletes.
3) To ensure that a doping control program is implemented in accordance with the rules of the IAAF and relevant national regulations.
To confirm all these items I’ve researched, I arranged for an appointment with our country’s President of the PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok and I was able to meet and talk to him lengthily about the prevailing situation of athletics and road racing in the country. He confirmed such powers of PATAFA and also admitted that he lacks the resources to implement the rules and regulations/proper administration of Road Races in the country. I presented to him the “projects/programs” that I’ve been doing since I was the Program Director of the DND-AFP Fintong Pangarap for Marathon two years ago and as the “Bald Runner” for the past year. He was surprised to know all these projects. After almost 1 ½ hours of conversation, he asked my assistance for the implementation of the rules and regulations in road racing, of which I accepted on a consultation basis, I think!
Mr Go Teng Kok, Bald Runner & Coach Andaya of FEU at the PATAFA Office
So, to all the Road Organizers, Coaches & “coaches”, Race Sponsors, and the road racers, you know already that there is somebody “up there” who should be supervising us and putting some “sanity” to those numerous weekend races and who should be able to look for each runner’s welfare while participating in a road race.