Pole vaulter EJ Obiena received an Olympic Solidarity scholarship from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), despite being excluded from the recommendation of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).

/ 25 March 2022

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced on Thursday that Obiena is among the eight other Filipino athletes who received Olympic Solidarity scholarships.

The grants were received by 14-year-old golfer Rianne Malixi, 23-year-old weightlifter Elnreen Ando, 19-year-old fencer Samantha Catantan, 27-year-old boxer Aira Villegas, 28-year-old boxer Rogen Ladon, 20-year-old cyclist Patric Cook, 20-year-old skateboarder Jericho Francisco, and 19-year-old wrestler Allen Arcilla.

Among the list, the 26-year-old Obiena was the only one not endorsed by their respective national sports association (NSA), but Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said that Obiena’s inclusion is proof of respecting and honoring the decision of national Olympic committees (NOCs).

“The POC wishes to congratulate these nine promising athletes for earning scholarships as they focus on their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics,” Tolentino said.

“All these athletes need to do is to focus on their training and set their goal toward the Paris Olympics,” he added.

Under the grant, the athletes will be receiving $833 per month until the Paris 2024 Olympics.

They will also enjoy the benefits of using training facilities, being guided by a coach who specializes in their respective disciplines, having regular medical and scientific assistance and control, accident and illness insurance, board and lodging costs, pocket money, and travel costs for their participation in relevant competitions and Paris 2024 qualification events.