SCHOLARS. 2016 Rio Olympic Weightlifting Silver Medalist Hidilyn Diaz (with eyeglasses) joins in a photo session with the 10 new scholars of the Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz Power scholarship program. (Photo by R. G. Antonet a. Go)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Ten promising weightlifters have been added to the roster of scholars of Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz Power scholarship program.

Oscar Benedict Contreras III, Alson Power Corporate Communication head, named the new scholars as Princess Jay Ann Diaz; Jodie Peralta; Alexandra Ann Diaz; Hilary Diaz; Jeaneth Hipolito; Angelica Garcia; Ellamae Lozada; Angel Locson; Prince Mango Tarro; and, Kirby Kent Alas-as.

Contreras told the Philippine News Agency Saturday that the new scholars were screened by a three-man panel, the members of which are 2016 Rio Olympic Weightlifting Silver Medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Councilor Elbert Atilano, and Weightlifting Coach Allen Jayfrus Diaz.

Contreras said each of them will receive an annual stipend of PHP40,000 to buy school supplies and for transportation and food allowance.

“All they have to do is to train, compete, and pass all the school requirements,” he said, citing that scholars do not need to maintain certain percentage academic rating.

He said the scholarship program is part of the Alsons Power Group Corporate Social Responsibility and to encourage athletes who are potential weightlifting champions.

“They are the future Olympians of the country. We are steadfast in our support in Zamboanga City not only by providing power but also by helping the future of our city, the future Olympic gold medalist. This is a testament to our support for Zamboanga and our country,” Contreras said.

Atilano thanked Alsons Power Company for its support to the scholarship program, which was launched in 2017 and is the brainchild of Atilano in honor of the Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Atilano was once a weightlifting athlete of this city and has served as coach of Diaz.

Meanwhile, Diaz advised the scholars to do their best in school and in weightlifting competition.

“Dream high, study and train well if you want to be an Olympian,” Diaz told the scholars.

Dr. Cecile Atilano, city sports development officer, reminded the weightlifters to also focus on education as their strength is not permanent.

“I will not only commit myself to do good in weightlifting but also in my education in preparation for my future,” Alas-as, one of the 10 new scholars, Atilano.

The addition of the 10 weightlifters has brought to 15 the total scholars since the Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz Power Scholarship Program was launched in 2017. (PNA)