March 31, 2023

National boxing team member Aira Villegas of University of Baguio is one of the eight grantees to be part of the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship by the International Olympics Committee, who will be trained for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Villegas, who is a recognized athlete of Baguio and Rogen Ladon are the grantees who will be trained in multi-faceted programs of the IOC. 
Villegas, a bronze medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is an upcoming boxer in the wo-men’s category while 2019 SEAG gold medalist Ladon will train in the men’s category.  
UB Athletic Director Alan Elegado earlier said Villegas and another UB athlete and national boxing team member Josie Gabuco were supposed to join the Tokyo Olympics but their weight class categories were not included.
Other athletes included for the Olympic scholarship are pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, who recently made an Asian record by clearing 5.93 meters in the 17th Golden Roof Challenge in Austria last Sept. 11 to erase the 23-year record of Igor Poptapovich; weightlifter Elreen Ando, fencing prodigy Samantha Catantan, a member of the Pennsylvania State University fencing team; Jericho Francisco of skateboarding; wrestling’s Allen Mitch Arcilla, and Patrick Coo of BMX.
The aim of Olympic Solidarity is to provide assistance to all National Olympic Committees (NOC) for athlete development programs, in particular those with the greatest needs of it. 
The IOC will give $7,500 every month to the Philippine Olympic Committee, which will divide equally among the eight recipients who will each receive $937.50 each or about P47,000 per month. – Ofelia C. Empian