The staging of the Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships is inspiring the provincial government of Ilocos Sur to widen the scope of its grassroots development program.
Special Assistant to the Governor in Sports, Jester Singson said this two days to go before the start of the six-day meet as delegates from different provinces began arriving for the competitions this week.
Singson disclosed in the weekly session of “PSC People’s Conversation” on Facebook that they are developing plans to expand the scope of their sports activities in the Ilocos region.
In consultation with PSC Regional Sports Coordinator and Provincial Sports Consultant Edwin Llanes, Singson said there are plans to help the growth of archery and organize volleyball activities at the national level.
“Sa aming pag-iikot sa venues naisip naming na ayusin ang grassroots. Katulad ng archery, kahit pahapyaw-hapyaw lang,” said Singson, who spoke on behalf of Gov. Ryan Singson.
Sports officials in the region noted the high interest of enthusiasts in volleyball and archery.
Because of this, they hope to provide coaches, equipment and venues for these athletes to be able to grow.
For now, Singson said the province is excited to have the events of Batang Pinoy get going when the games open on Saturday at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Two Tokyo Olympics boxing silver medallist Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam are coming and will be the guests of honor in the opening rites.
Fellow national elite athletes, Olympic judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, SEA Games gold medalists Chloe Isleta and Mary Allin Aldeguer are joining Petecio and Paalam during the ceremonies.
“The Batang Pinoy program has already produced numerous champions in various sports since it started in 1999. I am sure that the stories of our bemedalled athletes will inspire our young athletes who will be competing in Ilocos Sur, to reach the height they have achieved,” said PSC chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala.
Eala will formally open the games, his first major undertaking as chairman.
There are 6,000 participants from over 140 local government units gathering in the province to compete in nine face-to-face meets.
These events are archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, table tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and with obstacle course racing as demo sport.
Held on opening day are archery at San Ildefonso Central School, badminton at the Ilocos Sur Badminton Center, chess at Baluarte Function Hall, swimming at Quirino Stadium, and table tennis at San Vicente Gymnasium.
Eight other sports disciplines, arnis, dancesport, judo, karate, muay, pencak silat, taekwondo, and wushu, will be virtually held via the PSC Facebook and YouTube platforms.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, as well as chiefs and officials of various National Sports Association, are also among the guests.