Alsons Power – Hidilyn Diaz scholars off to Youth Olympics qualifiers
Two weightlifting scholars of the Alsons Power Group, Mindanao’s first and most experienced independent power producer, are bound for Urgench, Uzbekistan to compete in the 19th Asian Youth Championships from April 20 to 30, 2018.
Rosegie Ramos, 13, and Jane Linete Hipolito, 16, are eyeing to qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina this October which gathers top athletes from all over the world aged 15-18 who will compete in over 20 sports including weightlifting. Ramos will compete in the 44-kg category while Hipolito will vie in the 53-kg category. Should the two qualify, they will be back in the country to start intensive training for the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
Both young weightlifters who are from Zamboanga City are beneficiaries of the Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz scholarship program spearheaded by the Mindanao-based power firm and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist for weightlifting (women’s 53-kg division) Hidilyn Diaz, who encouraged the two young hopefuls and advised them to endure the hardships of training and focus on the competition.
“I’m happy to see that more girls are going into weightlifting and aiming to become Olympic medalists as well. I am hopeful that weightlifting will grow with more kids getting into the sports not just from Zamboanga City or Cebu but all over the Philippines who can become the next Hidilyn Diaz,” said the Olympic medalist, expressing optimism that both girls have a chance to qualify for the Youth Olympics.
Ramos has won several golds, a silver and bronze in Philippine youth competitions from 2014 to 2016 and also bagged a bronze during the 2016 weightlifting competitions in Tokyo, Japan. Last year, she took home silver in the Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships (HDWOC) and the gold during the Zamboanga Hermosa Weightlifting Championships (ZHWC).
The 16-year-old Hipolito on the other hand harvested two golds and a silver during the Batang Pinoy competition in 2014 and 2015, and also bagged a bronze medal from the 2016 weightlifting competition in Tokyo. She also won gold in the 2016 National Batang Pinoy competition and a silver both in the 2017 HDWOC and ZHWC.
The Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz scholarship program is just one of the initiatives of the power company to help provide more educational opportunities for young people in from different areas in Mindanao including Zamboanga City where Alsons is the primary supplier of electricity through its 100-megawatt Western Mindanao Power Corporation diesel plant in Barangay Sangali. It will soon begin construction on another plant in Zamboanga City a 105-megawatt baseload coal-fired power plant in Barangay Talisayan. Outside of Zamboanga City Alsons Power has three other power facilities in Mindanao located in Iligan City and Sarangani Province. The partnership between Diaz and Alsons seeks to discover and empower world-class Filipino youth weightlifters who could boost the country’s efforts to win gold in the Olympics.
“Rosegie and Jane show that our young people have the potential to win in international competitions specially if they are encouraged and supported in their sport. We share in the pride and hope that their parents feel at this opportunity to bring honor to our country. We remain fully committed in helping not just Rosegie and Jane achieve their hopes and dreams, but the other Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz scholars as well. It has always been our mission to provide opportunities for the young people of Mindanao through our programs, and we will continue to do this,” affirmed Alsons Power Group executive vice president and CEO Tirso G. Santillan