TO DISCOVER a new breed of athletes, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has chosen the Benguet province as pilot for the first Pilipinas Para Games for the youth.
PSC, in partnership with the province of Benguet is planning the first Pilipinas Para Games dubbed “2019 Pilipinas Para Games differently abled sports for life” catering to nine sports events namely chess, goal boal, bocce, swimming, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, and wheelchair basketball.
Jan Facundo of the PSC said the sporting event will be in partnership with Philippine Sports Association for Differently Abled-National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines (Philspada), the national para Olympic committee in the country.
“Philspada needs more athletes and we have to empower the grassroots program of the commission,” he said.
The first event for the Pilipinas Para Games for the youth will cater to 1,500 differently-abled youth participants and seeks to discover new breeds that can compete in the national pool.
The Benguet edition is tentatively seen to be held last week of April or first week of May which covers 9 to 15 years old for median category and 16 to 21 years old for the junior category.
Philspada coaches will be the technical director of the games and they will see first-hand athletes capable being pooled in.
Facundo declared Benguet was chosen as per reports from PSC that many games in the province shows good turnout of participants such as indigenous peoples’ games and Batang Pinoy among others.
The para Games council composed of the PSC will be tasked to provide cash incentives, food for athletes during the event. Benguet will be in charge in manpower, venues and facilities while equipment will be a shared responsibility by both parties.
During a recent PSC Para Games meeting, a memorandum or circular from Department of Education or the Department of the Interior and Local Government is being eyed to mandate barangays and municipalities to support the event.
“This is a challenge that is why we included the Sangguniang Kabataan because we really believe that we have the DepEd, Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Benguet PLGU to reach athletes,” he added.
Following Benguet, the commission aims to bring the sports meet to other provinces such as Misamis Oriental and Camarines Norte.
Winners will be invited to participate in the national competition.