Asian Games gold medalist Ernest John "EJ" Obiena has launched a fundraising aimed at building pole vault training pits in different regions across the country. The world No. 2 is partnering with marketing technology agency Katapult Digital to auction off his kits from the 2023 Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, SEA Games custom-made Puma spikes and World Championship Puma suit, with the proceeds going to the "Katapulting an Athlete's Dream" initiative. "I believe the Filipinos can win at a global level but we can't do this alone. The Philippine pole vaulting community holds much potential. All stakeholders and supporters need to band together to maximize the possibilities," the 27-year-old Obiena said during the launching at Chili's restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan on Tuesday. "I am doing this for the country," said Obiena, who is looking for promising student-athletes and communities to support. Aside from the auction, a donation drive will also be available on Obiena's website (https://ejobiena.katapultdigital.com) for fans and supporters who want to join in the fundraising campaign. The construction of training pits and the pole vaulting program of EJ's father, Emerson, will benefit deserving schools and students all over the country. "EJ Obiena inspires and reminds us that the Philippines is truly world-class when it comes to talent," said Francis Uy, the chief executive officer of Katapult Digital with offices in the Philippines, Singapore and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. For winning the gold medal and breaking the record in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Obiena received PHP3 million from his high school alma mater, Chiang Kai Shek College (CKSC) in Tondo, Manila; and PHP7 million from the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. and businessmen Anson Tan and Carlos Chan. The PHP10 million is on top of the PHP2 million he will get through Republic Act 10699, and a PHP1 million pledge from the Philippine Olympic Committee. Uy said the money will help in his preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Source: Philippines News Agency