The Philippines will push hard for the inclusion of rugby in the calendar of events for the Indonesia Southeast Asian Games in November.
Philippine Olympic Committee chair Monico Puentevella yesterday said rugby gave the country a silver in men’s team in the 2007 Games, adding that Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia can be persuaded to support the move.
The final roster of sports will be approved during the SEAG Federation Council meeting in Bali on Feb. 25 with Puentevella representing the country along with co-chief of mission and Philippine Sports Commissioner Chito Loyzaga.
“Maybe they will listen to us because rugby is an Olympic sports,’’ said Puentevella. “After all they included sports like paragliding and roller skating there.”
Rugby, which was held last in the 1924 Olympics, will be reinstated in the 2016 and 2010 Games.
Organizers have also included the martial arts of vovinam, wall climbing, bridge and water skiing in a move designed to boost the host’s chances of bagging the overall championship.
Puentevella said they will also propose the inclusion of arnis and handball but said they might not have as big a chance as rugby.
The Filipino martial art of arnis was introduced when the country hosted the Games in 2005, while handball is still a new sport in the country.