By Hanah Tabios
A few days before the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Filipino skateboard champion Arianne Mae “Kiddo” Trinidad, 25, is still on floating status after she was allegedly removed from the competition’s roster.
On Monday, Trinidad bared on her Facebook account that her name had been excluded from the list of Filipino skateboarders who will represent the country to the international sporting event.
The Pampanga-native athlete was understandably dismayed as this was supposed to be her debut as a national player who will bear the colors of the flag in the competition.
“Despite being the champion in the regionals and overall champion for the nationals, I was removed because they wanted me to make a public apology for exposing the truth on social media,” she said.
All these happened after she took a critical stance against the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc. (SRSA), a group accredited by the Philippine Olympic Committee of which she isn’t a member of.
In an interview with the Manila Bulletin recently, Trinidad said it was standard practice among national competitions that whoever earns the top spot automatically gets included in the national team.
Back in July, she earned first place in the Game of Skate (GOS) girls’ division, with her male teammate, CL Paje, emerging first in the same category.
A month later, she was welcomed by the members of SRSA led by its president, Monty Mendigoria, after she was featured in a television program.
Paje, however, wasn’t accorded the same welcome, for whatever reason.
Things turned sour for her, Trinidad said, when she expressed her support for fellow national player Karla Robelo, a longboard champion from Bacolod City who posted on social media that she has not been getting any support or updates from SRSA regarding the SEA Games.
Trinidad told the Manila Bulletin that Robelo was not given her prize during the regional and national competitions in July where Robelo ruled the downhill long boarding category.
A short time later, Trinidad found out her name had been stricken off the national team’s Facebook group.
Furious, Trinidad went to a radio program late last month and there bared her indignation. The SRSA demanded that she issue a public apology. When she refused, she was taken off the team, Trinidad said.
“They removed me from the list without informing me and without any official or formal letter,” she said.
Trinidad also shared a screenshot message from an SRSA member telling her that she will no longer be allowed to use her SEA Games uniform as this will be turned over to another athlete handpicked, Trinidad said, by the association.
Some of the skateboard athletes who will compete in the SEAG, Trinidad claimed, were the ones she had beaten in tournaments.
Her plight reportedly has already reached the Philippine Olympic Committee which, Trinidad hopes, would step into the impasse and resolve the issue before the skateboarding event starts.
The Manila Bulletin tried to reach out to the SRSA for comment, but calls and text messages made to its officials went unanswered as of press time.
Tags: #SEAGames2019, 30TH SEA GAMES, 30th Southeast Asian Games, Arianne Mae “Kiddo” Trinidad, Game of Skate, GOS, Kiddo Trinidad, Philippine Olympic Committee, POC, SEA Games, Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc, Southeast Asian Games, SRSA