Mindanao Peace Games organizers gather in Davao

ATENEO Davao University (Addu) will host the Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) Leadership Group Meeting on January 16 and 17 at its Jacinto campus.

Addu athletics director Noli Ayo, who was a guest in January 5's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the NCCC Mall Davao Food Cove Function Hall, said the Leadership Summit of Team Captains, MPG's trip to Singapore, holding of the MPG at Addu this year and the possibility of opening the program to male athletes will be discussed during the meeting.

Ayo said, "Exploring the entry of male participants on our third year this year is a possibility. That's one of the objectives of our meeting. Not that we are discriminating the male athletes, it's just that when we started with funding constraints, we wanted to focus on the female athletes in the first two years."

He said staging the college division meet is best in October during the semestral break, while the High School division meet will be held in summer once the leadership group agrees.

The chief MPG convenor said they aim to add more schools in Koronadal City, Iligan City and one in Basilan, Zamboanga, Sulu or Tawi-Tawi. Ayo said they prioritize establishing at least one MPG member in each region in the country.

In Davao City, Addu and Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) are regular members but he said that the University of the Philippines Mindanao is also interested to join.

"Tinitingnan kasi namin ang distribution kung meron sa isang region bago mag parami sa isang region. Sa Davao Region, sa Davao City muna," he said, adding that he is happy that MPG leaders in Mindanao State University (MSU) and DatuPaglas in Maguindanao started forming coaches' association in their areas.

He also hopes to continue MPG's partnerships with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) through the Office of Commissioner Celia Kiram, National Youth Commission, Smart and Discovery Suites.

Ayo said that more brands want to be part of the MPG, having seen its advocacy in promoting peace in Mindanao through sports.

The MPG was first held in Cagayan de Oro City in 2015 then made a stop in General Santos City last year.

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