By: Graham C. Lim
The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) formally designated former senator Anna Dominique (Nikki) Coseteng as the Philippine flag-bearer to the opening ceremony of the 28th Summer Universiade in Gwangju City, Korea during turnover ceremonies held last February 27 at the National Press Club building in Intramuros, Manila.
“I am honored to be named by the FESSAP Board as the country’s flag-bearer to the Gwangju Universiade,” said the 62-year-old Coseteng, the daughter of founding Philippine Basketball Association president (the late) Emerson Coseteng and former owner and team manager of trailblazing PBA franchise Mariwasa/Noritake/Honda/Finance/Galerie Dominique, as she received the Philippine flag from her predecessor retired Colonel Ariel Querubin, a bodybuilding advocate who carried the country’s colors during the opening rites of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russian Federation.
“I humbly accept the designation and hope to be able to inspire leadership among our local university athletes that will compete in the so-called Olympics of University Sports around the world.”
David Ong, the FESSAP president, is elated over Coseteng’s designation, saying that “Nikki is an excellent choice for the position, having been a strong advocate of Filipino youth sports and activism through her involvement with Diliman Preparatory School.”
Senator Antonio Trillianes IV is the Philippine Head of Delegation to the Gwangju Universiade, which runs from July 3-14 this year. Deputy Head of Delegation is Angel Ngu, the Executive Vice President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).
Coseteng attended St. Paul’s College, Maryknoll (now Miriam) College and St. Maur’s Convent in England during her early academic years and then enrolled at the Notre Dame College of California in the U.S. and the University of the Philippines in college.
She has been running the Diliman Educational Corporation, which operates the Diliman Preparatory School and the Diliman Computer Technology Institute in Quezon City, since December 2006. The DPS has had a strong academic and sports program under Coseteng, the school’s president and Chief Executive Officer.
Coseteng has actively supported the Philippine Swimming League, which is affiliated with the FESSAP, in the past several years and is no stranger to the biennial Universiade activities.
*She attended the Summer Universiade spectacles in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China in 2011 and in Kazan in 2013.
The Philippines brought home a silver medal during the 2011 Universiade courtesy of Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison in men’s taekwondo.
Two years later, in Kazan, the country captured a gold in men’s chess when Wesley So beat a former world juniors champion from Armenia in a playoff to top an elite cast of woodpushers that included young grandmasters from around the world.
Also in attendance during the flag turnover ceremony are FESSAP Board chair Alvin Tai Lian, FESSAP executive vice president Robert Milton Calo, Tisha Abundo, Roel Natividad, Jeane Monteverde, Megaworld's Danilo Madlansacay, Park Hyun Mo of the Filipino Korea Ciltural Foundation, Korean Philippine Tourism head Park In Suk.
The Philippine participation in the Gwangju Universiade is supported by San Miguel Corporation,Bestank, H2O Technology Corporation, Megaworld Properties Corporation and Agri Nurture Inc.
The FESSAP is the country’s lone university sports federation that is officially recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), which organizes the Summer Universiade and Winter Universiade every two years on an alternate basis.
The FESSAP, which is also recognized by the country’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED), has been a regular FISU member since 2009.
The first Universiade, an international multi-sport event organized for university athletes, was held in Turin, Italy in 1959. It is also known as the World University Games.