Western Mindanao hosting 2 national sport events

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 February) – It would be a busy year for sports in Mindanao as Western Mindanao will host two national multi-sport competitions this summer.

Zamboanga City will host the 2011 Private School Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Collegiate Games, the premier private school competition for tertiary athletes, on April 10 to 16, marking the fourth time for the games to be held in the City of Flowers.

The National PRISAA board of trustees unanimously approved the change in venue from Metro Manila to Zamboanga City and schedule during its recent board meeting in Quezon City, according to Joaquin Sarabia, Davao Region PRISAA assistant executive director.

“Problem on billeting prompted the board to change the venue and date and Mayor Celso Lobregat offered to host the games in Zamboanga City,” Sarabia told reporters.

He said Manila was having a hard time looking for schools that will house the delegates from all regions because the games was originally scheduled Feb. 20 to 26 and by that time there will still be classes.

Lobregat thanked the PRISAA board and assured he is willing to assist in hosting the games together with the Department of Education (DepEd), private schools and line agencies.

Some 400 member colleges and universities from the country’s 17 regions will see action in the games to be held at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex. Around 5,000 athletes and officials coming are expected to come.

In a press statement, PRISAA Regional 9 Executive Director Elbert Atilano said Zamboanga City’s hosting of the National Games this year will be much bigger than the one it hosted in 2008.

After the Zamboanga Games, thousands of delegates will meet in historic Dapitan City on May 8 to 14 for the 2011 Palarong Pambansa.

It will be the first time for Dapitan to host the country’s biggest national competition for elementary and secondary student athletes and the city government is leaving no stone unturned to make the Shrine City’s hosting one of the best.

Last year, top DepEd executives unanimously picked Dapitan as the venue of the annual sports extravaganza for school year 2010-2011 after beating Misamis Oriental, the other Mindanao bidder.

Fifteen of the 17 DepEd regional chiefs voted for Dapitan. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)