Batang Pinoy SL leg gets going in CalapanBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro—A cluster of young gifted athletes will emerge over the next few days from the Southern Luzon leg of the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games which begins today in this serene seaside city.
These talents, all 15 years and younger, could show up first in athletics and swimming where scores of gold medals are at stake on Day 1 of competitions at Jose Leido Memorial National High School, the hub of the five-day meet.
The host province and Calapan itself have entered 220 athletes in 11 sports with high expectations that many of them would reach the national championships in Iloilo City on Dec. 5 to 8.
Oriental Mindoro is also bidding to shine on its turf and to dominate participants from powerhouse Laguna, Cavite City, Imus, Dasmariñas, Lucena City, Tanauan, Batangas, Antipolo City, San Pedro, Laguna, Lucban, Quezon, and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Other sports on schedule are arnis, badminton, boxing, chess, lawn tennis, karatedo, taekwondo, table tennis and wrestling.
Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr., PSC chair Richie Garcia and sports commissioner Jolly Gomez led yesterday’s opening ceremony, which was also graced by Cong. Rodolfo Valencia.
“The first two qualifying legs were successful,” said Gomez. “We discovered a lot of athletes who are capable of performing at their best on the national level. We hope to find more talented young athletes here.”
The Southern Luzon leg serves as the third of five regional qualifiers with two more tryouts in Dapitan City (Mindanao leg) on Nov. 7 to 10 and Tacloban City (Visayas) on Nov. 21 to 24 before the culmination in Iloilo.
Finalists in the national championship will be groomed to train for the Asian Youth Games next year and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Marikina City (National Capital Region qualifying) hosted the first leg last month followed by Lingayen, Pangasinan, the venue of the Northern Luzon qualifier early this month.
Tennis will be held at JJ Leido Memorial National HS while wrestling will take place at Barangay Sto. Nino covered gym.
Arnis and chess are scheduled to be played at the Adriatico Elementary School Gym, the bouts in boxing will be in full display at Calapan City Plaza and taekwondo has the Gov. Umali Memorial Gym as venue.
Karatedo and table tennis are booked at Neo Calapan Mall and badminton at Anahaw Resort.