KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/05 October) — The city government has stepped up its preparations for the hosting later this month of the Mindanao qualifying leg of the Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy that is expected to draw around 5,000 athletes to the area.
Tony Aguilar, city sports coordinator, said Monday they are currently completing the final arrangements for the annual qualifying games, which is slated on Oct. 24 to 28 at the South Cotabato Sports Complex here.
He said the delivery of the sports equipment and related items for the games that were committed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is currently ongoing and they expect its completion by next week.
The sports equipment will be deployed at the venues three days before the start of the games, he said.
“The PSC is providing almost all needed equipment and accessories — from the basketball rings to the sleeping mats of the athletes,” Aguilar said.
As of Monday, he said they already received 2,000 of the 3,000 sleeping mats allotted by the PSC for the games.
He said the sleeping mats will be issued to the athletes upon their arrival and official registration with the Mindanao Batang Pinoy secretariat.
“The good thing here is that these sleeping mats will be giveaways to the athletes from the PSC. The athletes can bring them home after the games,” he said.
For their part, Aguilar said they are handling the preparations for the playing venues, billeting of the athletes and the technical officials.
He said these preparations are being handled by special teams and a technical working group earlier created by the city government.
For the billeting, he said they have partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the use of local schools as billeting quarters of the participating delegations.
“The teams are now working on their respective assignments and these are progressing on schedule,” Aguilar said.
The city was chosen by the PSC late last year to host the Mindanao leg of the Batang Pinoy games after it lost to Tagum City in the bidding for the hosting of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa.
The Philippine Youth Games–Batang Pinoy serves as the national sports competition program for children and is envisioned to address the country’s need for a “grassroots sports program centered on values formation inherent in the practice of sports and play.”
The annual games is spearheaded by the PSC in partnership with DepEd, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Leagues of Provinces, Cities, Municipalities and Barangays.
The Philippine Olympic Committee and National Sports Associations run and oversee the technical management of the event.
Prior to the national games, qualifying legs are held for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The events featured in the games are arnis, athletics, swimming, triathlon, cycling, boxing, dance sport, cheerdance, volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, chess, softball, taekwondo, futsal, three-on-three basketball, sepak takraw, weightlifting, karatedo, and wrestling.
The Luzon Leg was held in Malolos, Bulacan last July 18 to 22 while the Visayas leg was hosted by Romblon on Aug. 23 to 28.
The national championship is slated on Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 in Cebu City. (MindaNews)