Personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who competed in the recent Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were honored by Chief of Staff Gen. Noel Clement in a thanksgiving ceremony held at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was present as the guest of honor during the event last Thursday evening and handed out the SND Service Medal to the soldier athletes who contributed 54 medals for Team Philippines in the 30th edition of the biennial meet hosted by the country.
In his speech, Clement expressed his gratitude to the 160 athletes and coaches who brought honor and glory to the flag.
“I thank you all for coming today. This celebration is for all of you. Allow yourself to bask in that deep sense of pride and honor, bathe in that glorious feeling of fulfillment and indulge in that splendid pleasure of celebrating something that no one can take away from you – your genuine love for your country,” Clement said.
“To all the soldier athletes and coaches, the dedication and the love for sports that you have shown were truly astonishing and inspiring. Your mastery to your craft and professionalism brought you to where you are now – a winner, a champion, truly a pride of our country,” he added.
The military’s sports men and women hauled a total of 26 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals – coming from sports disciplines such as arnis, athletics, baseball, boxing, cycling, kurash (judo), muaythai, obstacle course racing, rowing, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, softball, soft tennis, taekwondo, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Coaches were also awarded the Military Achievement Medal for their outstanding performance and services duringthe SEAG.
“For dedicating your time and energy to fill in the gaps and address the needs of the athletes, audience, organizers, thank you for doing it for your country, thank you for doing it for your fellow Filipinos. Congratulations as well. You too made us all proud,” said Clement.
Apart from the soldier-athletes, AFP personnel were also deployed to beef up the security and emergency preparedness and response teams to various events held in all areas where the different sports disciplines were held.