TAGUM CITY—The Mindanao qualifying leg of the 2013 Batang Pinoy Games fires off today with over 1,600 athletes from 40 local government units competing in 23 sports at Davao del Norte Sports Complex here.
“Normally, we don’t get a high turnout of participants in Mindanao,” said lawyer Jay Alano, project director of the games for national team aspirants 15 years old and younger. “This is going to be the region’s biggest ever since we started the program two years ago.”
From 415 entries in 2011, the Mindanao leg grew to 635 participants in 13 sports last year in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
The Philippine Sports Commission-organized competitions will also hold qualifying legs in the Visayas (Maasin, Leyte) next month and in Luzon (Iba, Zambales) in October. The medal winners in the three legs will advance to the national championships in Zamboanga City from Nov. 19 to 23.
Gracing today’s opening ceremony are PSC chair Richie Garcia and Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario.
Also expected at the rite are PSC commissioners Jolly Gomez, Akiko Thomson-Guevarra, Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Victorio Suaybaguio Jr., Davao del Norte Rep. Anthony Del Rosario and Romeo Magat of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Bidding to capture the overall title, Davao City and Tagum have 200 athletes each fighting for medals in 23 sports.