Conglomerate and business giant SM Group will build the country’s first national sports academy in Calamba, Laguna with an initial investment commitment of P1 billion.
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. president Hans T. Sy told reporters in an interview on Monday that the facility will be operational in 2018 and will serve as a training center for up-and-coming athletes as well as local and foreign professional teams.
Foreign consultants and architects were tapped by the company to create a world-class sports academy. Mr. Sy also noted that the academy would start with programs for popular sports like basketball, volleyball, and tennis.
“I’m happy that the board approved it, my siblings approved it, because this is something that we believe can help the country not (only) in terms of sports development, it would be able to help put away drug issues (for the youth),” Mr. Sy added.
The sports academy is a sole undertaking of National University, which is supported by the Sy family. The family will look for potential partnerships once the facility is completed.
National University was founded in 1900 by Don Mariano Fortunato Jhocson and considered as one of the oldest universities in the country. The Sy family acquired majority ownership of the university in 2008 and implemented a major revamp in the school’s image, infrastructures, and sports and academic programs.