March 24, 2023

Team Lakay continues to upgrade its training to include investing in sports physicians to serve the needs of its growing number of athletes, according to its chair Mark Sangiao.

Sangiao said it has always been the dream of Team Lakay to be at par with world-renown mixed martial arts gyms and one of the lacking elements is an in-house physician who will ensure the athlete’s overall health is in top shape.

WORLD-CLASS TRAINING — Members of the famed Team Lakay posed with Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki who was in Baguio and Benguet recently to impart his grappling skills and learn striking skills from the Lakay fighters. Team Lakay chair Mark Sangiao, meanwhile, reported the team is planning to employ in-house sports physicians to look after the welfare of the fighters. — Eduard Folayang FB photo

He said the team will not stop training the younger generation of athletes, especially in providing them nutritionists and other sports physicians to check on their physical health. 

Napakataas ng level of competition dito sa ONE Championship and Ultimate Fighting Championship. Athletes from other gyms train abroad and they have their own doctors and other health professionals,” Sangiao said. 

He said the team is always doing what it can to make use of what it has, a value that the international sporting community recognized from Team Lakay from its humble beginnings up to now.

Still, Sangiao said even with the lack of a physician and other health professionals, the team managed to produce six MMA world champions over the past years.

He encourages the local government and the community’s support to the local athletes, who are not only competing professionally in international MMA promotions, but are also representing the country in international competitions such as kickboxing and Muay Thai.

Meanwhile, Sangiao, also the regional chair of the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas, called for concerned sectors to support for the national athletes who conduct their regular training in Baguio and Benguet in preparation for international tournaments, including the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

 “We are encouraging local government units and the private sector to support our athletes, not only in martial arts but also in all kinds of sports, as we keep that at bay from drugs and vices,” Sangiao said. – Ofelia C. Empian