Mayor Fernando Miguel announced this morning that the city has won the bidding for the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 2007, which will gather here next summer over 10,000 future sports stars from the country’s 13 regions. The last time the city hosted the event was in 1996.
He said the Department of Education (DepEd), which supervises the annual games, chose the city over top bidders Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga City for “being the most prepared” local government to host the event.
Miguel said the selection committee, which was led by the DepEd secretary and its regional directors, was impressed with the existing sports infrastructure in the city and its experience as host of major sports activities in the past years.
“People from all over the country have actually started talking about coming here next year for the Palaro,” the mayor said.
This early, Miguel said the city will start preparations for the next year’s Palarong Pambansa.
He said the city government will improve existing sports facilities as well as develop new ones if necessary.
The mayor said the city government will also improve utilities such as water and electricity in schools, especially as these would be tapped as the billeting quarters for athletes.
The city government made a bid to host the national games during the last Palaro in Naga City in May.
In 1996, the city served as one of the main venues of the Palarong Pambansa that was then jointly hosted by South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City.
In 2000, the city also co-hosted the defunct Palaro ng Bayan, then introduced as the national youth games, along with General Santos City.
The city has served as venue for other sports events such as the Coke Go-For-Goal national championship, the National Open Dart Competition, Mindanao Taekwondo Open and the Philippine Practical Shooting Association’s national shootfest. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)