Addressing the opening rites of the two-day sports summit at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan here, Gov. Rodolfo Del Rosario said he believed that the summit and the “redevelopment” of the provincial sports complex “would make the biggest banana exporting province as the region’s sports hub”.
“(Davao del Norte) is the region's sports capital in the making,” said Del Rosario. “ The possibilities are boundless and this is where it all begins, “ He added.
The summit was graced by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez.
Del Rosario said “this is the beginning of the comprehensive genuine sports development program of the province”.
Former Vice Governor Anthony Del Rosario, the governor's son and currently the provincial sports chief, said that “with the active participation of all the provincial sports stakeholders, the province will have a genuine sports development program that focus on sport disciplines where local athletes have good chances in excelling”.
“With your active participation and through this sports summit we can map out a genuine strategic plan for sports development,“ the younger Del Rosario told the summit that was attended also by barangay captains, chairpersons of the Sangguniang Kabataan chapters and private sports groups.
"This is the kind of program that needs to be sustained. We really need to set direction for our sports development programs," said Danny Sumalinog, a sports summit participant from Island Garden City of Samal.
Ramirez said that the completion of its sports complex in 2010, the province "perhaps, could be the regional training center in the south".
“We will no longer go to Manila, we will just train here. This is the better place to live, away from pollution, and work for the future champions of the country,” said Ramirez.
The Davao Del Norte sports complex project was also unveiled during the summit.
Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Davao Del Norte unanimously approved in special session on Wednesday the resolution authorizing the provincial government to enter into a loan agreement with Land Bank of the Philippines.
"We have approved the authority to borrow P500 million, and the P250 million of that will be used for the sports complex," Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio, Jr., said.
The construction of the proposed P250-million sports complex will start soon, according to the provincial engineers office.
The 15-hectare sports complex will rise in Barangay Mankilam across the province’s Government Center, where the old sports complex once stood until it was razed by fire in March 2003.
The complex would have a total of 49 spans of concrete bleachers, a rehabilitated and upgraded Olympic-sized swimming pool, a modern oval track with rubberized track materials and synthetic foot soccer field.
"The swimming pool and track oval will have eight lanes," said provincial engineer Josie Jean Rabanoz.
The complex would also have a parking area that could accommodate more than 300 cars. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)