City sports center revamp 50% done as Palaro looms

City sports center revamp 50% done as Palaro looms

WITH the opening of the newly renovated pool facility for the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) Meet, which will happen on May 4 to 9, 2024, the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) is now halfway through its renovations.

The oval track, which will be used for the Palarong Pambansa in July, is also expected to become operational for athletes in June.

On Thursday, May 2, 2024, Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman John Pages unveiled the improved swimming area, including the two pools, shower area and hallway that will be used in the CVIRAA swimming competitions.

Pages said the renovation of the pool area was done through the P25 million in donations of the private sector, adding that no government funds were used in the beautification of the pool facilities.

He said the facility still boasts of the Olympic-size 50 by 25 meter competition pool, which reaches a depth of four to six feet. The Cebu City Niños swimming team dipped into the pool during the blessing ceremony on Thursday.

It also comes with a 25-meter warm-up and cool-down pool, which formerly served as the kiddie pool. Pages said the converted smaller pool is important to have to meet the standard for hosting national events, including the Palaro in July. “We will be able to host national meets in swimming,” he said.

He said the pool area has a new filtration system as well as improved showers and bathrooms, and they also put up international standard starting blocks.

Also included in the P25 million budget is the improvement of the hallway there, which will be used to honor Palarong Pambansa Hall of Famers, Pages said.

Oval track

As for the oval track, Pages said civil works for its improvement are underway and expected to be completed by June, a month before the Palaro, which is expected to run from July 6 to 17.

However, Pages said when the renovated track is unveiled next month, only the competing athletes can use it. It will open for public use only after the staging of the national sporting event.

Grandstand

As for the plan to put up an extension to the grandstand to boost its current 8,000 seating capacity, Pages clarified that this will not be realized for the Palaro in July.

He said it will be a legacy project that will be put up, as the City has plans to host other national events, and there is no definite number of additional seats planned yet.

The CCSC was closed in May 2023 for its renovation, including for the improvement of its pool facility and oval track, particularly for the Palarong Pambansa, which Cebu City will host for the third time.

Delegations

Pages said some of the CVIRAA delegations have already arrived in their assigned billeting areas, which are public elementary and high school campuses in Cebu City.

The school divisions that will compete in the CVIRAA are Bohol Province, Tagbilaran City, Siquijor Province, Bais City, Bayawan City, Canlaon City, Dumaguete City, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Province, Tanjay City, Bogo City, Danao City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu City, Cebu Province, Talisay City, City of Naga, Carcar City and Toledo City.

100 classrooms

Lahug Elementary School is preparing around 100 classrooms for the Tagbilaran City Division, including four classrooms reserved for the school principals and superintendents.

School principal Lily Ann Go said Thursday that they are making sure that there is no interruption of the water supply coming from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

“We tapped the City Government and MCWD to increase pressure on our water supply for Lahug Elementary School and Lahug National High School,” she said.

Go added that in the event of any issues with the water supply, they have two water tanks available to augment the supply. Additionally, Barangays Lahug and Kamputhaw have pledged to assist.

Information officer Aquilino Milar of Tagbilaran City Division said their delegation is composed of 687 members, of whom 402 are student-athletes. Their working committee already arrived at the school on Wednesday, while the rest were expected to arrive on Thursday afternoon.

Up for grabs

Earlier this week, Games secretariat Adolf Aguilar of the Department of Education Cebu City Division, said they expect 12,000 participants for CVIRAA, with 8,500 being student-athletes, and the rest consisting of the technical committees and coaching staff.

A total of 1,362 gold medals are up for grabs in the 21 regular sporting events. Additionally, para-sports such as athletics, goalball, bocce and swimming will be included for differently-abled student-athletes.

The May 4 opening ceremony will start at 6 p.m. at the South Road Properties so no one will have to endure the heat of the sun. Outdoor games will also not be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the same reason. / KJF

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