THE Department of Education Cebu City Division is rejoicing as it now has 7,000 new athletes that could make the division stronger in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association meet next year after the summer grassroots sports training program of the Cebu City Sports Commission in the Cebu City Sports Center.
Some 7,000 students joined the 15-day CCSC clinics, held in different barangays and yesterday, the participants had a culminating activity at the CCSC.
“We are very fortunate that this time, we have more school children getting interested in sports and because of that, we now have 7,000 more athletes who will be competing for the intramurals, district and division meets,” said a beaming DepEd Cebu City PESS chief Zenaida Gocotano, while watching the culminating activity yesterday. “Before, the summer grassroots training our intramurals were just so-so competitions. Now with this project, and the other projects of CCSC, we now have a really good competition even at the school level. And I am glad to say that during the Palarong Pambansa (in Legazpi) our athletics team won 12 gold medals, an indication that we are on the right track. So I am very thankful for CCSC for helping our public schools come up with quality athletes.”
Gayle Dico, the CCSC staff in charge of the grassroots development program, revealed that they could have had more participants if only they had free rides, which they offered few years back.
“We could have more participants but the use of Kaohsiung busses was cancelled and some venues declined because of the election and campaign periods. But nevertheless, we have more participants this year. Actually, every year our number of participants increases and this year, we nearly doubled our number of participants compared to last year because parents are already anticipating for this event,” Dico said.
Some of the participants were sisters Mary Nicole (17) and Trisha Marie (14) Llamas, who hail from Tagunol in Brgy. Basak-San Nicolas and trained boxing at San Nicolas Elementary School.
“Ganahan unta ko og arnis. Pero ambot oi, ganahan man ko moapil sa boxing mao to nagboxing na lang mi. Actually, idea man pod ni sa among papa,” Mary Nicole told Sun.Star Cebu.
In just 15 days, the two girls who study at the University of Cebu have shown potentials for the Philippine women’s team.
Just like the Llamases, nine-year old Jorry Fajardo, a shy and silent Grade 3 student of San Nicolas ES, chose boxing to protect himself and someday follow the footstep of Manny Pacquiao.
“Para ko makahibawo og sumbag unya ganahan ko mahimong Manny Pacquiao,” Fajardo said.
Leander Caniga, a 10-year old volunteer trainer of Muay Thai found his new status amusing.
“Malingaw lang ko magtudlo sa mga bata. Nindot pod kay ako natudlo nila akong nahibaw-an sa Muay Thai,” said the younger brother of the Philippine Muay Thai National team member Ken Caniga.
CCSC is overwhelmed with the acceptance of the parents and athletes of their program.
“This is a successful event. And we hope we can have more kids, and longer and more far-reaching program for next year,” said CCSC commissioner Lorenzo “Chao” Sy, who welcomed the athletes during the opening program.
“I am overwhelmed and touched. Rest assured we will try to do better next year,” added chairman Edward Hayco.