‘Cebu City track and field athletes affected by CCSC closure’

Amper Campaña
SPORTS FACILITY. The Cebu City Sports Center has been temporarily closed since May 18, 2023, to pave the way for its renovation for the Palarong Pambansa this July 2024. / Amper Campaña

THE temporary closure of the track oval at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) has dealt a significant blow to some track and field athletes, hindering them from qualifying for the Palarong Pambansa 2024, a university track and field coach said.

This was the sentiment shared by Arvin Loberanis, head coach of the track and field team of the University of San Carlos (USC), to SunStar Cebu in an interview via Facebook Messenger on May 29, 2024.

Loberamis said with the unavailability of the track oval of the CCSC, due to renovations for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa that the Cebu City is hosting in July this year, his athletes opted to use an alternative practice route at the Cebu Business Park (CBP) Ayala Access Road.

He said the unavailability of the sporting facility had disrupted regular practices for the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) as there was “no formal training ground” for his athletes.

He said it had a “big factor” for his 13 trainees due to the lack of sports equipment, such as hurdles in high and long jumps.

“My athletes cannot properly execute their best on CBP Access Road. They are familiar with their strategies on the track oval,” he added in a mix of Cebuano and English.

CCSC has been temporarily closed since May 18, 2023.

The Cviraa, which served as the pre-qualifier games for the Palaro, was held in Cebu City on May 4-9.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach out to other Cviraa 2024 and Palarong Pambansa participating teams, but to no avail.

Disagree

Meanwhile, Adolf Aguilar, DepEd Cebu City’s assistant schools division superintendent, said in a phone interview on May 29, that “CCSC closure is not the reason why there are no delegates representing Cebu City for the athletics team.”

Aguilar added that what the city needs is to “establish a stronger athletics program” that can compete with other cities who are specializing in athletics.

“It is not only for this year’s Palaro. For the previous years, mao na ni trend sa atong delegation (this is already the trend for our delegation),” he said.

The athletics representative of Bohol and Bayawan will represent Region 7 in the Palarong Pambansa this July 6-17.

Aguilar said after the CCSC’s closure, practices of the participating athletes were carried out on their respective schools.

“Basically, ang mga practices sa atong athletes nga gikan og Cebu City wala na affected sa ongoing renovation...We can be assured sab na ang atong mga athletes naa gyu’y lugar na ka practice-an,” said Aguilar.

(Basically, the practices of our athletes from Cebu City are not affected by the ongoing renovations. We can be assured that our athletes have a place to train.)

He added that practices for other sports practices, such as badminton, wrestling and gymnastics, are conducted in MetroSports Cebu, Mabolo High School and Labangon Elementary School, respectively.

Preparations for Palaro

Some of the competing teams for the Palaro, Aguilar said, are the UV Baby Lancers, USJ-R Baby Jaguars (men and women), and Don Bosco Football.

Kenneth Cole, a basketball prodigy and team captain of the UV Baby Lancers, said their preparations are now in full swing.

“Magpakondisyon lang gyud mi para maka kombati,” he told SunStar Cebu, in an interview via Messenger on May 29.

(We just need to condition ourselves to be able to fight.)

He said their goal for the Palaro is to fight for the championship and bag the gold medal to defend their feat during the recently concluded Cviraa 2024.

He said as UV Baby Lancers team captain, his constant reminder to his teammates is “to be always confident” inside and outside the court.

Available Facilities

The newly renovated swimming pools in CCSC are now open not only for Cebu City athletes but also for all the Palaro delegates.

The facility features an Olympic-size 50-meter competition pool and a 25-meter warm-up and cool-down area that was opened to the public last May 2.

Aguilar added that the participating team for dancesports is holding its practice inside the CCSC dance studio.

Playing venues in CCSC will also open doors to all delegates for Palarong Pambansa a week before the event. / DPC

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