IBA, Zambales—Brazil Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will grace the opening ceremony to inspire the athletes taking part in the PRISAA 2017 National Games which go full blast today in 18 venues, with Zambales Sports Complex in Iba serving as the main hub of the weeklong sports conclave.
A product of Universidad de Zamboaga, Diaz, 2016 PSA Athlete of Year and daughter of a tricycle driver, will deliver an inspiring message to encourage athletes from various colleges and universities from 17 regions to show their worth in their pet sports and have the opportunity to play for the country in future international competitions.
Philippine Sports Commission executive director Atty. Carlo Abarquez and Philippine Sports Institute executive Mark Velasco will represent Chairman William Ramirez.
PRISAA officials, headed by chairman Dr. Emmanuel Angeles, former PSC Commissioner Fr. Vicente Uy, executive director Prof. Elbert “Bong” Atilano, National PRISAA president Fr. Daniel Presto, Governor Amor Deloso and Iba Mayor Rundsted Ebdane, are also on the stage to listen to Diaz’s speech.
The PSC gave a P2-million financial assistance to the event, apart from the P9 million allocated by the organizers to ensure the success of the five-day sports conclave.
More than 5,000 athletes from 567 private colleges at universities are jockeying for honors in 18 sports, which carries the theme: “Building a Strong Filipino Nation through Sports,” hosted for the first time by the province of Zambales.
The annual competition has two divisions: youth 17 years old below and senior 18-24 years old, and supported by the PSC, Department of Education, Culture and Sports and Commission on Higher Education, Local Government Unit and Smart Communications and San Miguel Brewery as corporate sponsors.
Dante de Castro, the only Filipino officiated in the Olympics in London, will handle boxing with fellow international veterans Tito Dacuma, Steve San Esteban and Darcito Teodoro.