20-hectare sports complex in Davao to open soon

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Jan) – More athletes from Mindanao are expected to shine in national sporting events with the opening soon of a 20-hectare world-class Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Sports Complex in the UP-Mindanao campus in Mintal, Tugbok District, this city.

The training gymnasium of the Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Sports Complex in Mintal, Davao City in this photo taken 2 January 2018. The gym is already being used for physical education classes of UP Mindanao. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the City Government of Davao and UP on Thursday, said very few players from Mindanao get recruited because they do not have access to facilities where they can strengthen their skills.

“You know the secret to becoming a strong team, for example, in sports event is in the quality of the players. But we are not able to recruit many players from Mindanao because of lack of facilities where the players can do their trainings,” he said.

He said they have already started planning to establish a College of Human Kinetics at UP-Mindanao in the next two years to boost the skills of potential Mindanawon players.

“We have observed very few athletes are being recruited from Mindanao maybe because there are not many sports facilities in Mindanao where the students can train in,” Concepcion said.

He said the proposed establishment of a new college will have to be reviewed by the university council, undergo a feasibility study, and put in place other requirements that will be needed by the students.

The multipurpose building of the Davao City-University of the Philippines (UP) Sports Complex’s Football Stadium in Mintal, Davao City in a photo taken 2 January 2018. Geared towards hosting international competitions, the football pitch has been installed with an artificial turf and is slated to undergo FIFA certification. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Concepcion signed with Mayor Sara Duterte the MOA on Thursday for the partnership in the management of the sports complex.

He said they hope to have more Mindanawon athletes to compete in the national leagues such as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in the next three to four years.

“If you lack training, you will not become a good athlete. You will not be recruited to compete in leagues such as UAAP,” he said.

The construction of the sports complex started in 2015 after then mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, who is now President, struck a deal with the university for the use of the 20-hectare property for the sports facilities.

The sports complex has a training gym, multipurpose building, football field, track oval equipped with FIFA-tested and certified artificial turf, and aquatics center.

Mayor Sara Duterte said the city will use the sports complex as it hosts the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) Meet 2019 from January 27 to February 2 and Palarong Pambansa 2019 in April.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and UP President Danilo Concepcion show the Memorandum of Agreement in jointly managing the sports complex. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

However, she said some sports events in DAVRAA will not be held there as they are still rushing the completion of some facilities like the Olympic-sized swimming pool.

She assured everything will be ready for the Palarong Pambansa.

Duterte said she expects more Dabawenyo athletes will succeed in their respective fields in sports with the opening of the sports complex.

She hopes the sports complex will transform the city into a premier sports tourism destination.

“For the longest time, it has been a dream of Dabawenyos to have a large sports facility in the city. We cannot underscore how important it is for Davao City to have its own government-owned sports complex, not only to allow us to host major sporting events but also to provide Dabawenyos a facility to train for various sports disciplines,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

Site of the sports complex inside the University of the Philippines Mindanao Campus. Satellite image from Google Earth