PARTNERSHIP. Officials from the Philippine Finswimming Federation, Inc. (PFFI) and Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA) show copies of the agreement for the formation of a competitive team for the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games during the 1st COPA-Samahang Manlalangoy sa Pilipinas Christmas Friendship Swimfest held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex swimming stadium in Malate, Manila on Saturday (Dec. 10, 2022). (L-R) COPA member Chito Rivera, finswimming national coach Mary Ann Reyes, COPA head Eric Buhain and PFFI president Maria Tatjana Claudeene Medina. (Contributed photo) 

MANILA – The Philippine Finswimming Federation, Inc. (PFFI) and the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA) forged a partnership on Saturday to form a competitive team for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by PFFI president Maria Tatjana Claudeene Medina and COPA president and Batangas 1st District Representative Eric Buhain during the 1st COPA-Samahang Manlalangoy sa Pilipinas Christmas Friendship Swimfest at the Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Center in Malate, Manila.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by COPA officials Chito Rivera and Richard Luna and national finswimming coach Mary Ann Reyes.

Medina thanked COPA and Buhain for giving the national finswimmers to undergo high-level training.

"We’re happy and excited. With Cong. Buhain and the rest of COPA’s expertise, this will have a good result to our athletes," Medina said.

Buhain, an Olympian and many-time SEA Games medalist, sees the partnership as "another milestone in our effort to unite all leaders not only in swimming but in the aquatic sports community."

"We need to help each other for the success of sports. We’re grateful for the opportunity given to COPA by the PFFI,” added Buhain, a former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Under the agreement, COPA will call a national tryout, train, select and recommend athletes to be included in the national team comprising four men and four women who will compete at the Cambodia SEA Games.

The Philippines won the gold medal in the women's 50-meter surface event courtesy of Danielle Faith Torres and the bronze medal in the men's 4x100-meter relay team of Franz Baacom Leonard Sabellina, Matthew Rodriguez and Mike Godoy during the 2011 SEAG in Indonesia. (PNA)