SHE has one pair of running shoes, which she does not use every day in training.

She would rather train barefoot so that her shoes will last long.

Danao City’s pride, April Joy Batoto, admits to the limited resources but trains every day at the Ramon Durano Sports Complex. She did her city proud when she came home with two gold medals and a silver from the Milo Little Olympics, which wrapped up last weekend in the Cebu City Sports Center.

“I train every day in the Ramon Durano Sports Complex. I have my ordinary shoes but most of the time I run barefoot so that my shoes will last long,” said Batoto of Guinsay Elementary School.

At first glance, the petite and shy girl had no semblance of an athlete. But when she stood up holding her medals, it was clear that this little girl was Danao City’s best athlete in the Milo Little Olympics Visayas Leg.

She won the 400-meter hurdles and triple jump and finished second in the 400-meter run.

Batoto is the eldest of two kids of Perlita, who lost her husband in 2009.

“I wish my father was here to see me achieve something in athletics,” said Batoto, whose running is inspired by her mother, a former runner in Mindanao.

“My mother told me to continue with my training and reminded me to pray always and be humble all the time despite the medals I won,” Batoto said in Cebuano.

Despite the challenges she faces in her personal life, Batoto has worked hard to become a champion not just in sports but in academics as well, finishing with an honorable mention last year.

This girl has big dreams as she looks forward to scoring an athletic scholarship from a big school and eventually landing a stint in the RP team.

“My ultimate dream is to be part of the Philippine team someday and I am training everyday to improve my skills,” she said.

With her performances in elementary competition, some schools in Cebu like the University of San Carlos- Basic Education (USC-Bed) offered a scholarship but her mother has not yet agreed because it is far from Danao City.

Born and raised in Danao City, Batoto aims to give her best in the Milo Little Olympics Finals not just for the City she lives in but the whole Visayas, during the national finals in October. RSC