Celso extols Mindanao athletes in BP reg’l heat PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 October 2011 14:53

Mayor Celso Lobregat has extolled the young athletes from all over Mindanao for participating in the Mindanao Regional Qualifying Round of the newly revived “Batang Pinoy” which Zamboanga City is currently hosting until Oct. 30.

“On behalf of the people of Zamboanga City, I am very happy that all of you from different parts of Mindanao have come to our city to participate in Batang Pinoy Mindanao Games despite the short period of time in preparation,” Lobregat told the visiting athletic delegations during the opening ceremonies of Batanga Pinoy 2011 Wednesday afternoon at the JFE Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for choosing Zamboanga City as venue of the four-day games even as he added the city government did not have funds for hosting the event as the arrangements were made only weeks ago.

“But in our desire to host this event, we were able to address the funding problem, and honestly I am very happy that you all have come, especially those who are here for the very first time,” Lobregat told the delegates. “While you are here, we say in Chabacano ‘Mi casa es tu casa’ (My home is your home,” he added.

Participating in the games are delegates from Dipolog City, Pagadian City, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur, Cagayan de Oro City, Gen.Santos City, Tangum, Tanggub, Misamis Oriental, Isabela City, Basilan, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Iligan City, Davao del Sur, Koronadal, Zamboanga Sibugay, and other parts of southern Philippines.

They will be competing in archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, gymnastics, judo, swimming, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling and weightlifting.

Last held in 2004 in Puerto Princesa City, Batang Pinoy is PSC’s comprehensive sports development program for children 13-15. It is designed to instill the values of discipline, teamwork, camaraderie, unity, solidarity, competitiveness and fait play. It also hopes to widen the pool of potential athletes for international competitions.

To recall, the city government and the PSC represented by the mayor and Commissioner Jose Luis “Jolly” Gomez, respectively, signed last Oct. 6 a memorandum of agreement for the conduct of Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg in Zamboanga.

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

“There were several cities that bid and wanted to host this 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 its facilities,” the commissioner was quoted as saying during the signing of the MOA in City Hall early this month. — Vic Larato