THE scorching heat of the summer sun was biting their skin, but the Davao Regional Athletic Association (Davraa) athletes did not mind the heat as they train intensively for the upcoming 2015 Palarong Pambansa in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
With only less than a month for the weeklong Palaro on May 3 to 9, the athletes of the 21 sports events undergo 27-day training in different strategic locations in Tagum City.
Exuding confidence, Atty. Alberto T. Escobarte, DepEd regional director, expressed his faith in the Davraa delegation that they can move up to a best place in the over-all ranking if given proper and intensive training. It can be recalled that Region XI landed 8th place in 2014 from 11th place in that previous year.
“Work hard, and work as a team,” Atty. Escobarte said as he is optimistic that this training will solidify our team.
As incentive, he said out of his own purse he will reward 10,000 to the first athlete who will get gold medal and 5,000 to the coach.
Jenielito Atillo, DepEd supervisor assigned as chair of media and documentation team, also believes that the intensive training is an effective ingredient for the region’s campaign to succeed.
Basketball coach for 10 years and the coach of the team who championed the recent Batang Pinoy, Daniel M. Colango said this training will surely gel the team as we try to iron out the fundamentals and the secrets of winning.
“Players coming from other places need to settle and play with one another as a team. They should be at home with one another,” Colango said repeating the call of Atty. Escobarte for all athletes to work as a team.
Teamwork is the glue that holds the team together. As the French always say “esprit de corps” which means having the feelings of loyalty, enthusiasm and devotion among the members of the group, teamwork is the oil that will make Davraa athletes team work.
Anna Loren Rojas and Antonette Jean Hisanza, gymnasts from Davao del Norte, said the discipline implanted during practice can make them win the game. They believe that as long as the routine is properly executed, gymnasts are always ready to compete.
About 178 elementary students and 269 secondary students will compete in various sports events such as arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, and archery.
Only secondary students will play for sports events such as billiards, boxing, futsal (a variant of football played indoors), wrestling, and wushu (an exhibition and full contact sport with a combination of wrestling and judo).
Athletes with intellectual disability, visual impairment and those who are orthopedically handicapped will have a chance to be scouted to compete in international events.
The participation of 31 children with exceptionalities is one of the most awaited events where children with visual impairment – totally blind and low vision – will play goal ball. They will be blindfolded and they will all rely in their hearing capacities.
Children with intellectual disability will play athletics, bocce (a ball sport closely related to bowling), and swimming while amputees will participate in swimming and shot put.
Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC presents Palaro as a means to support the Department’s commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for all learners.
“Ang Palarong Pambansa, kagaya ng edukasyon, ay inclusive o bukas sa lahat. Wala itong pinipili, wala itong itinatangi. Ito ay para sa lahat na may pusong handang magpunyagi upang sa dulo ay magwagi,” he said.
For Davao Region, the athletes’ race is of utmost importance.
All the athletes who are housed for the training are given sufficient food and vitamins to boost their endurance and stamina and proper guidance to heighten their confidence.
Incentives will be given to winning athletes. The group events to garner gold will receive 7,000; silver and bronze to get 5,000 and 3,000 respectively. For the individual events, gold medallists will receive 3,000; silver and bronze medallists will get 2,000 and 1,000 respectively.
Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo P. Del Rosario, on the other hand, makes sure that the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa will be the safest and grandest event ever in the record of Palaro hosting.
Twelve years ago, Region 11 was hailed as champion in both elementary and secondary levels during the 47th Palarong Pambansa in 2003 at Tubod, Lanao del Norte. Today, Region 11 is preparing its athletes to bring back the glory of that time. (Maria Gemima C. Valderrama)