Limpag: An added concern

Fair play

Experts have predicted that by next month, our seemingly unbearably hot weather will take a turn for the worse. It’s crazy hot these days and I can’t imagine what kind of “worse” the experts mean.

May is also the time the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association meet will be happening in Cebu City, which will gather thousands of young athletes all over Central Visayas and weather will be one concern organizers will have to consider, one that wasn’t a factor a decade or more ago.

There’s already a guideline from the Department of Education that bars field games between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, the hottest points of the day but lately the heat index at 3 or 4 p.m. is only one degree off from the hottest point or is even the same.

These are weird times we are living in. Weird and dangerous for the athletes.

It’s nearing 3 p.m. as I write this and despite the cloud cover it’s like hell on earth. I’m confident that the folks behind the Cebu City Sports Commission--the host of the Cviraa--have considered this but I hope everyone involved will not make this solely a concern for the host.

Coaches, players and even parents should take heed, if it gets too hot and the players are still on the field, premium should be put on safety not medals.

A few weeks ago, the Philippine Football Federation also issued a memo regarding playing under hot conditions and mandated that water breaks should be taken. For those not familiar with the game, there are no timeouts in football and the only time a player gets to drink is a lull in play or when there’s an injury timeout. So water breaks, which was instituted by Fifa a few years ago, are very much welcome.

The Cviraa—or regional meet—is the second to the last step of elite school-based athletes journey in the DepEd sports ladder, which for most, started in the intramurals. It’s a battle for the best-of-the-best of the region and the winners will represent Central Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa, which Cebu will be hosting for the first time in 30 years.

I wish everyone—athletes, coaches, and officials—luck and I hope there won’t be any heat-related injuries. It would be a shame for an athlete’s or a team’s journey to end prematurely because of the weather.

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