PASIG CITY, April 22, 2017 – Delegates from different regions have started trooping to Western Visayas for this year’s biggest sporting event in the country, the Palarong Pambansa.
According to DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Secretary-General of the Palarong Pambansa, student-athletes and their coaches from public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide has started arriving in Antique on the first week of April.
The delegation of each region are composed of athletes, Physical Education teachers and coaches, trainers, local government units (LGUs) or its representatives, parents, DepEd central, division and regional officials.
“We have been preparing extensively for the past few months – technically and physically. We have inspected sporting venues and billeting areas. It is now all systems go for the Palarong Pambansa,” Umali said.
“We are expecting to have over 12,000 delegates to participate in this year’s Palaro, excluding sponsors, and visitors and guests,” added Umali.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones will lead the opening ceremony on April 23. She will be joined by other members of the Executive Committee and officials of other government agencies including the local government executives.
The Palaro is composed of various sports events: The elementary division has 15 events, namely arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and volleyball.
The secondary division has 21 events, namely archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, billiard, futsal, wrestling, and wushu.
The new sports events for this year are wushu, wrestling, futsal and billiards.
The demonstration sports are pencak silat, aerobic gymnastics, and dance sports, while para games are goalball, bocce, athletics, and swimming.
The 2017 Palarong Pambansa will formally open on April 23 and will culminate on April 29, 2017 at the EBJ Sports Complex in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
Anchored on the theme, “Converge Youth Power, Builds Sustainable Future,” the objectives of the seven-day sports event are the following: 1) promote physical education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education for holistic development of the youth to become responsible and globally-competitive citizens of the country; 2) inculcate the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other values inherent in sports; 3) promote and achieve peace by means of sports; 4) widen the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary pupils and secondary students to serve as athletes roster to the national sports association for international competitions; and 5) provide database that will serve as basis to further improve the school sports development programs.
Recognizing the importance of establishing partnerships with the private sector in the conduct of this national event, the DepEd has solicited the support of the following sponsors: Nestle Milo, Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, The Mind Museum, MVP Foundation/ Smart, Babolat, Boysen, San Miguel Foundation Inc., Manila Bulletin, Pru Life UK, PHILAM Foundation, Holcim, Olympic Village, JB Sports, Adidas, and Rappler.
ASec. Umali has acknowledged the all-out support given by the said sponsors, saying that this will go a long way in helping the young athletes to pursue their dream of joining, not only in the national sporting event, but also in international competitions.