MID- to late August is usually one of the busiest times of the year for the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) football pitch as the college and high school teams wind up their preparations for the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi). They play tuneup games or train at CCSC just to get a feel of the field, especially if they have a lot of new guys.
But that’s not true this year as there is a giant stage at the CCSC that will host Cebu Province’s Pasigarbo sa Sugbu. Like any giant stage, the grass at CCSC will die or will be close to dying once it will be removed a week from now.
First of course, we can’t blame Cebu Province for holding the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo at the CCSC as their reason is also the same reason why it makes it an ideal football venue—the location. Everybody loves to have events at the CCSC, from political gatherings, company outings, fun runs and what-have-you.
With that, I think it’s time for CCSC management to put up some safety measures to protect the pitch, oval and the users. Every time a stage is put up, organizers of a football match need to scour the pitch with a metal detector to make sure nothing metallic remains. During one tournament that happened almost three months after the Sinulog, there was one such stray metal that, let’s just say the result was ugly. Just imagine a footballer, after going for a kick, discovering that a strange object was lodged on his shoe. He removed it and a gush of blood came out.
Maybe, the CCSC should require those who put up stages to make sure nothing remains and the pitch is safe to use for athletes.
Then there’s the pitch itself. I don’t know if the setup has changed, but the CCSC used to have one guy in charge for the maintenance and keeping the pitch alive after a stage is more than a one-man job. The Central Visayas Football Association tries to help when it can, especially when there’s a tournament around the corner, but maybe the CCSC can also do more.
There were talks about putting up an artificial turf at the CCSC when Mayor Edgardo Labella assumed office, but I think we don’t have to go that route. I think the stakeholders involved in the use of the pitch need to just have a sit-down with the CCSC and Cebu City City Hall to find the best way to maintain the pitch and of course find funds for its maintenance.
It’s not expensive, but it’s not that cheap either.
This December, the field will have its annual Sinulog death and I think, if it can be planned well, we can factor that in for the CCSC’s total rebirth. I mean, since it’s going to die anyway, why not use that chance to give it a total makeover—and allocate funds for it—post-Sinulog?
There are areas in the pitch that need flattening and the pitch now is a mishmash of different types of grass. Maybe, after the Sinulog, after the stage is removed, CCSC management can use that chance to finally level it. And since most of the grass will be dead, the CCSC too can get that chance to kill the rest and plant just one type of grass.