Top youth athletes in spotlight
DUMAGUETE—The Philippine Sports Commission’s last major multi-sport competition for the year, the Batang Pinoy Visayas regionals, unfolds on Friday at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center here.
Close to 2,500 participants from all over the Visayas will see action in the sportfest to be ushered in by opening ceremonies at 4 p.m. at the facility, graced by PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, the author of the law making arnis the national sport, and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio “Ipe” Remollo.
Events on tap are athletics, archery, arnis, badminton,baseball, boxing, basketball, chess, dancesport, karatedo, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, pencak silat, swimming, softball, table tennis, taekwondo, table tennis and volleyball in this weeklong competition at this scenic seaport city.
Dumaguete is the hometown of youthful Malaysia Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Nicole Tagle, 15, who became the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Batang Pinoy Games is one of the PSC’s grassroots sports development programs that has been cited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in promoting sports as part of a country’s national policy.
The Games were the brainchild of the late PSC Chairman Butch Tuason, who launched the program in 2000 and became one of the government sports agency’s projects in scouting young sports talent at a in the countryside.
Chairman Ramirez, who was then a commissioner, was the overall coordinator of the second edition of the Batang Pinoy National Games held in 2001 at the Santa Cruz Sports Complex in the Laguna provincial capital.
The Visayas regionals follows the highly successful Luzon regionals held in Vigan, Ilocos Sur two weeks ago.
The Mindanao regionals, which was supposed to be the kick-off leg of the meet, did not push through because of the armed conflict in Marawi City last May, although the Batang Pinoy finals will likely be held sometime early next year.