Nationalian Pride – Wilfred S. Arzaga, ChPc
Mr. Wilfred S. Arzaga, a Chartered Professional Coach based in Ontario Canada, is a multi-awarded and internationally certified level three (III) swimming coach—a Nationalian Pride.
Coach Wilfred S. Arzaga, better known as Coach Fred, finished his secondary education at National University (NU) High School in 1965. He continued his higher education at NU and graduated in 1969 with a degree in History, and became a World History Instructor in his Alma Mater for five years. While teaching, he finished another bachelor’s program in Education major in Physical Education at the National College of Physical Education in two (2) years. After rendering his five-year teaching profession at NU, he migrated to Ontario, Canada, and worked at the Ministry of Education as a stock clerk. He served in Ontario’s Ministry of Education for twenty-six (26) years and had his early retirement in 2001 as a Systems Analyst of the same government agency.
During his time in the Philippines, he also worked as a Manager of Operations in the Philippine-Colombian Association from 1971 to 1974. He was one of the swimming coaches of the Dapitan Aquatic Club— an aquatic sports group that trained and produced national and international swimmers who competed in the Asian and Olympic Games back in the ’60s and ’70s.
In 1963, he became a member of a small group of swimmers who trained under the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) and was considered to be one of the Philippine delegates for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. After his Tokyo stint, he was considered to be one of the coaches for the Philippine National Team in preparation for the 1970 Asian Games, held in Bangkok, Thailand.
He continued his coaching career in Canada by attending different coach-to-coach trainings and certifications. He also started his coaching career in his neighboring communities in Ontario and even started his swim team, Crest Swimming—a registered competitive swim club in Canada. His club helped youth and young adults to reach their highest level of excellence in the field of swimming. When he started getting recognition in the field, he began attending numerous international seminars and trainings in the USA and other Scandinavian countries.
His international recognition in the field of swimming led him to coach senior swimmers who made it to the US Open, Canadian Nationals, Olympic Trials, and World Cup Championships. In 1996, Coach Fred received the Coach of the Year Award given by the province of Ontario. After receiving several awards, he returned to the Philippines to coach the national team at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and also became one of the Consultant Coaches of the national team for the 15th Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar. He also conducted swimming clinics in various parts of the Philippines in 2006. Last 2022, two of his swimmers represented Canada in the Japanese International Championships and the Junior Pan Pacific held in Hawaii. Today, Coach Fred still manages and trains swimmers and attends seminars for his continuous learning. He believes that learning is an unending process, and even for a master or expert like him, there is always something more to learn.
-John Alvis Guntan