Zambo to host Batang Pinoy Mindanao Games Oct. 27-30 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 October 2011 16:12

It’s final and official.

Zamboanga City, which is now in the thick of Fiesta Hermosa festivities, will play host to young athletes from all over Mindanao as they will compete for the first leg of Batang Pinoy qualifying games scheduled here from October 27 to 30.

This, after the city government through Mayor Celso Lobregat and the Philippine Sports Commission through Commissioner Jose Luis “Jolly” Gomez signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday for the staging of the three-day Mindanao leg of the newly revived Batang Pinoy Games designed for athletes ages 15 and below.

The other regional legs will be held in Dumaguete City (Visayas), Sta. Cruz, Laguna (Southern Luzon), Baguio City (Northern Luzon) and Makati City (National Capital Region). All the winners will compete in the national championships on Dec. 10-13 in Naga City.

Commissioner Gomez said the PSC’s choice for Zamboanga to host the Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg was due to the city sports facilities of international standards.

“There were several cities that bid and wanted to host the event. We have been to other cities in Mindanao and we have seen their facilities, but Zamboanga City impressed us the most in terms of facilities that you have,” Gomez told a news conference in City Hall after signing the MOA with Mayor Lobregat.

“All of your facilities are of international standards. Your track oval and your sports stadium are of international standards. Your swimming pool is of the provincial pools that has an electronic touchpad, which is an international standard,” the PSC commissioner said.

“But most of all,” he added “we were very impressed with the sports organization that Zamboanga City has.” “Your local sports officials are doing a great job. Of all the organizations we have worked with so far, the city’s is one of the most organized,” he said.

Gomez further said that what sets Batang Pinoy apart from other organized games is that it uses local technical/sports officials to officiate the games. “We will not bring judges, referees or umpires from Manila. We will use your local officials and it will be a big opportunity for them to officiate at a larger scale,” he said.

He was optimistic that the Mindanao leg in Zamboanga will be very successful, judging the big success of the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Games held last April. “The success of your PRISAA gave us confidence on your local officials.”

Last held in 2004 in Puerto Pincesa City, the Batang Pinoy is being revived to boost the country’s search for future national team standouts.

It hopes to find potentials in archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling and weightlifting.

Also present during the signing ceremony and press conference at the City hall conference room were other Elbert Atilano, Universidad de Zamboanga Sports Director, City Sports Director Bernardito Patiño and other PSC staff. — Vic Larato