Sarangani Sports Academy opens in June

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 March) – The Department of Education (DepEd) will start in June the operations of the pioneering Sarangani National Sports Academy (SaNSA) in Alabel town.

Dr. Donna Panes, curriculum implementation division chief of DepEd-Sarangani, said Friday the preparations are underway for the opening of the sports academy, the first in Region 12, in the coming school year 2020-2021.

She said it will open in time with the expected completion of the P500-million Sarangani Sports Complex situated within the provincial capitol compound.

“We’re planning to cater to an initial 80 student-athletes, who will be enrolled in a special program in sports,” she said in a report.

She said the special curriculum, which was among the innovations of the K to 12 education program, will be implemented in coordination with the Sulong Karunungan program of the provincial government of Sarangani.

Sulong Karunungan is the education component of the flagship Sulong Sarangani program of Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon.

Panes said SaNSA will be managed by a principal and at least five teachers who are experienced in various sports discipline and will comprise the initial teaching pool.

She said its incoming Grade 7 students will be divided into two sections and their schedule will focus on academics in the morning and sports training in the afternoon.

The sports programs that will be offered starting June are taekwondo, wrestling, weightlifting, arnis, gymnastics, swimming and athletics.

As in the regular public schools, the official said no school-related fees will be charged to the students and the training as well as the use of the sports facilities will be free.

But she said the initial students will have to shoulder their board and lodging as well as transportation expenses pending the completion of the sports complex’s dormitory.

Alma Gabuat, Sarangani sports coordinator, said former Olympian and Southeast Asian Games men’s long jump record holder Henry Dagmil has committed to assist the development of the sports academy’s training programs.

Dagmil, the regional coordinator of the Philippine Sports Commission, had served as training manager of the South Cotabato Athletic Association.

The construction of the Sarangani Sports Complex, which started in early 2018, was pushed by Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao through funds from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Once completed, the sports complex would feature state-of-the-art amenities for various sporting events, including an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, and a dormitory that could host 400 athletes. (MindaNews)