AYALA Vermosa Sports Hub’s training facilities.

THE AYALA Group said it is building partnerships with various sports organizations to help improve the competitiveness of national athletes.

The group’s Ayala Center for Excellence in Sports (ACES) is teaming up with the Philippine Rugby Football Union, World Archery Philippines, and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines, Francisco R. Milan, chair of the Ayala Group HR Council and strategic adviser for human resources of the Ayala Corp., announced on Wednesday.

“ACES will be opening discussions with various national and local government bodies on collaboration toward the goal of increasing national sports competitiveness in international events,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

ACES also has a pilot program called Atletang Ayala, which launched in April last year, with the goal of supporting the national athletes through full-salaried employment at part-time hours in participating Ayala companies.

Eight selected athletes were given free access to Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub’s training facilities, plus an opportunity to enroll for free in select courses at De La Salle University.

“As an Atletang Ayala athlete, they have signed yearly contracts that can be renewed annually until the 2024 Olympics, contingent on the attainment of clear performance measures,” Mr. Milan said. 

The performance metrics, Mr. Milan told BusinessWorld, are as follows: satisfactory ratings in their annual performance appraisals as Ayala Group employees; qualification as national team members for the 2023 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China; and participation in ACES and their assigned business unit’s programs, including employee engagement activities. 

Atletang Ayala’s pioneer batch are deployed in the following business units: 

• Prince Alejo (karate) and Pia Bidaure (archery) are cadet engineers-in-training with ACEN;

• Jasmine Alkhaldi (swimming) is an ACES program associate at Ayala Corp.;

• Xiandi Chua (swimming) is an HR associate at IMI;

• Abby Bidaure (archery) is an HR Associate at AC Motors;

• Andrea Robles (archery) is an employee engagement specialist at Globe;

• Noel Jose (fencing) is a finance associate at AC Motors; and

• Nathaniel Perez (fencing) is a management trainee with Ayala Multipurpose Cooperative

Mr. Milan said the Ayala Group recognizes the qualities that athletes bring to the workplace.

“Athletes are team players who are passionate, resilient, goal-oriented, and have good work ethic,” he said.

“It’s also about being able to work in synergy with their coaches and teammates, and this is an important trait we uphold in the Ayala Group.”

The plan is to expand the scale of the program by building on the learnings from the pilot, Mr. Milan added.

“We’ve observed how our athletes’ dedication and discipline extend beyond their sports, and this shows in the working relationships they have built with Ayala group employees they have collaborated with,” he said. — Patricia B. Mirasol