Baguio will host the Northern-Central Luzon qualifying leg of the revived “Batang Pinoy” children’s national games, with 3,000 to 4,000 athletes expected to come for the 14-event competitions set Nov. 24-27 in various venues here.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan has created a local technical working group headed by city administrator Carlos Canilao to firm up the hosting offered by Philippine Sports Commission executive director Chito Loyzaga and commissioner Jose Luis Gomez.
One of the biggest sports events to hit the city in years, the qualifying leg is open to in- and out-of-school youth aged 13 to 15 who will represent their respective cities, provinces and towns in Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Cordilleras.
“The PSC has estimated between 3,000 to 4,000 athletes signing up for the four-day meet,” said Melchor Tagayona of the city sports office. “The ballpark figures do not include officials.”
Winners will represent the four-region cluster to the national level set on Dec., 10-13 in Naga City, according to Gaudencio Gonzales, officer-in-charge of the city sports office.
The PSC explained “Batang Pinoy” was revived to become a recruitment base for athletes who will undergo high-level training in preparation for the second Youth Olympic Games set in Nanjing, China in 2014.
Except in boxing which is limited to boys and a maximum of nine weight fighters per local government unit, each delegation is allotted three boys and three girls in archery, seven each in arnis, 14 each in athletics, four in each division in badminton, four for the 3-on-3 basketball, one each in chess, seven each in judo, 20 each in swimming, three each in table tennis, eight each in taekwondo, four each in tennis, five each in weightlifting, and seven for boys and three for girls in wrestling.
Entries in gymnastics will be competing directly in the national final. Athletes must be accredited by their respective local government units based on the residency of the athletes’ parents.
The city sports office released last Thursday the following venues and event contact persons: athletics – PSC track oval at the Teachers’ Camp, Danilo Alimbuyao; archery – Baguio Athletic Bowl, John Hongitan; basketball – St. Louis University; boxing – Cooyesan Hotel, Boy Catolico; badminton – Baguio City National High School, Dr. Lolia Nanzano and Jose Jardin; lawn tennis – Baguio Tennis Court at the athletic bowl, Allen Flores; swimming – city swimming pool, Donald Malipe; table tennis – University of the Philippines, Lando Florendo; taekwondo – University of Baguio, Arnold Oglayon and Melvin Morte; wrestling – Engineer’s Hill covered court, Teresa Asuncion.
Still being finalized are venues for arnis under Ayatolah Gadaoni, chess under Allan Elegado, gymnastics coordinated by Albin Santos, judo under Jorge Borja and Corazon Aljido, and weightlifting.
Based on records, Baguio is expected to find gold medal hauls in athletics, archery, combat sports like boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, aside from swimming.
With Canilao and Gonzales in the local technical working group are Sangguniang Kabataan federation president and city councilor Cheryl Dinney Yangot, city schools superintendent Ellen Donato, PSC-Teachers Camp sports manager Juanito Smith and executive assistant Jose Atanacio of the city mayor’s office.
Delegations from the Cordillera will be billeted at the Quezon Elementary School, Region 1 will be housed at the Baguio Central Elementary School, Region 2 at Mabini Elementary School and Region 3 at the Baguio City National High School. *(PIA CAR/RD-Baguio City PIO)
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