CEBUANA Olympian Mary Joy Tabal will grace the 2016 Milo Little Olympics Regional Finals as one of the torch bearers for the opening ceremony on Sept. 8 at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
The country’s top marathoner will light the urn of peace and unity together with sprinter Samantha Limos, who won a bronze medal in the 6th Children of Asia International Games in Russia last July.
The Milo Little Olympics Regional Finals will run from Sept. 8 to 11 and will be played in different playing venues in Cebu. Last year, the event was held in Iloilo City but it shifted back to Cebu for the 21st edition.
Organizer Ricky Ballesteros said that they are now 80 percent ready for the school-based elementary and secondary meet. The playing venues have already been checked as well.
The CCCS will host swimming, athletics, sepak takraw and football; Citi Green Tennis Court and Alta Vista for tennis; Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) campus in Mandaue City for basketball and secondary volleyball; and SHS-AdC old campus on Gen. Maxilom Ave. for elementary volleyball.
The rest of the events—arnis, chess, gymnastics, karatedo, scrabble, table tennis and taekwondo—will be at SM Seaside in South Road Properties.
Ballesteros said that there are out-of-town schools that will be coming mostly from Bohol, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Aklan, Leyte, among others. He said that most of the Cebu private schools have entries in the tournament. There are Cebu public schools as well.
“We have University of San Carlos, University of Visayas, Abellana National School, SHS-AdC. Most of the private schools have already registered, except University of Cebu (UC),” he said.
UC’s athletic director Bernard Ricablanca said in a Sun.Star Cebu report last Aug. 26 that they still await feedback from the board regarding their participation.
Ballesteros said that the registration closes today, but they can give UC consideration if it decides to submit entries. The solidarity meeting for coaches and organizers is slated on Sept. 3.
“The event is a good way to gauge the student-athletes’ strength in the Visayas Region,” said Ballesteros. “In regional meets, they will not meet again because they come from different regions in Visayas.”