CVIRAA: No outdoor games from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CVIRAA: No outdoor games from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
File photo

NO OUTDOOR games will be held between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) sports meet in Cebu City that is slated on May 4 to 9, 2024 to prioritize the safety and health of the student-athletes and coaching staff.

This is amid the reports of the soaring heat index, which is expected to reach the “dangerous” level in May.

Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman John Pages said all outdoor games will be held early in the morning and resume in the late afternoon.

“I was talking with Archie Reyes, who is handling the football... He was telling me yesterday that the sun’s heat during 8:30 a.m. already feels like it’s noon already. So, number one, from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon,” Pages said in a mix of Cebuano and English during the press conference for the event on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Pages announced that they may start holding the outdoor sporting events as early as 6 a.m.

He added that for athletics, which comprises the largest sport with 20 events, they will host them inside the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

The school has installed additional lighting around its track oval, which will facilitate the holding of events from the late afternoon to evening.

“If you check YouTube during the World Championship in athletics, the majority of them were playing at night. So, our athletes, in a way, will be able to experience the same,” he said.

After enduring the record-high 40-degree-Celsius heat index for this year, Cebuanos must brace for a potential escalation to a higher heat index as May approaches, Pagasa Mactan station chief Alfredo Quiblat Jr. warned.

Quiblat forecast a heat index ranging from 41 to 44 degrees Celsius in the first week of May, stressing that 42 degrees Celsius is already classified under the dangerous category that poses risks of heat cramps, exhaustion and stroke during outdoor activities.

Emergency

Pages said for emergency response during the CVIRAA, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) will serve as the designated hospital for emergencies.

Adolf Aguilar, the Games Secretariat of the Department of Education Cebu City Division, said the CCMC will designate a ward and provide a special lane for student-athletes who will need medical attention.

If health concerns are just minimal, such as fever, he said they will just confine them in their billeting quarters, as “each billeting quarters will have its medical doctor.”

Aguilar said if health concerns are severe and need major medical attention, aside from the CCMC, they will have other partner hospitals to handle these cases. He did not name the hospitals.

Billeting quarters

Kimberly Marie Esmeña, representing the Local School Board, said they have anticipated the needs of the participants in their billeting quarters, including water supply and ventilation.

She said different host schools serving as temporary homes for the 20 school divisions competing in the CVIRAA will have water tankers available.

The school divisions in Central Visayas 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.

Besides the water supply from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District, some schools have their own deep well connections, Esmeña said.

She said they have also tapped the barangays nearest to these schools, and fire trucks from the Bureau of Fire Protection are expected to augment the supply of water.

She said there will be enough electric fans in the sleeping quarters, but they are also asking for help from the Department of General Services to add more fans.

Meanwhile, most venues for the indoor sporting events will be air conditioned; also, some venues will have big fans to cool down participants.

12,000 participants

Aguilar expects 12,000 participants for the CVIRAA competition, of which 8,500 will be student-athletes, with the rest comprising the technical committee and coaching staff.

A total of 1,362 gold medals are up for grabs in the 21 regular sporting events, which are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, chess, football, futsal, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, wushu, and the newly added dance sports.

Additionally, para-sports such as athletics, goalball, bocce and swimming will be included for differently-abled student-athletes.

There will be one demonstration sport, pencak silat, aiming to introduce Filipino martial arts.

Aguilar said the May 4 opening ceremony will start at 6 p.m. so no one will have to endure the heat of the sun. This will happen at the South Road Properties (SRP), where the Sinulog Festival took place last January. The assembly of all participants will be at 4 p.m., and the parade will start at 5 p.m. There will be 300 tents at the assembly area of the athletes for the parade, which will be near Citi di Mare.

He said the grandstand in the SRP has a seating capacity of only 3,500, but he said not all the participants will have to stay there, as some delegates will be assigned to different areas of the venue.

Aguilar added that some athletes competing in gymnastics and athletics will not be around during the opening since it will coincide with some of the scheduled games.

During the opening, two past Sinulog Festival winners will perform to entertain the participants. They expect the entire opening ceremony to last an hour and a half.

Budget

Aguilar said they have appropriated an estimated P1 million budget for the opening ceremony.

He said to lessen the spending, they will use some equipment that already exists from other departments such as chairs, as well as some that came from sponsorships.

Esmeña from the Local School Board said that for CVIRAA, there will be an allocation of P45 million from the special purpose fund.

There are also other sources of funds allotted, such as general funds, the amount of which has not been disclosed. / KJF

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