Pages: CVIRAA 2024

John Pages: Match Point
John Pages: Match Point

What a week! The Cebu City Sports Center pool is finally open. After nearly a year of closure and in time for this blistering summer heat, the city’s only Olympic-size pool is ready for diving.

Last Thursday, it was reopened to the public with a blessing officiated by Fr. Randy Figuracion. In attendance were Mayor Mike Rama and Cebu City Councilors Dondon Hontiveros, Joy Pesquera, Noel Wenceslao, Rhea Jakosalem and former councilor Jessica Resch. From DepEd, we had top honchos Dr. Sal Jimenez, Dr. Nimfa Bongo and Adolf Aguilar.

The inaugural swim was conducted by our Cebu City athletes. Biggest thanks to the CCSC pool donors: Cebu Landmasters Inc. (Joe and Franco Soberano), University of Cebu (Atty. Augusto Go), Cebu Home and Builders Centre (James Co), Chao Sy and many others.

Kudos go to CCSC manager Dodong Taborada, PSC’s Bernard Ricablanca and Arch. Don Sombrio — the triumvirate who have worked tirelessly each day to improve our Cebu City Sports Center.

The CCSC Pool improvements are plenty. They include a 25-meter cool-down pool; new (Pentair) Filtration Systems; new shower rooms; and international-standard Starting Blocks and Anti-Wave lane lines. The restrooms and hallways are also new and we will soon have (literally) a Hall of Fame — in time for the Palarong Pambansa.

The rubberized track oval? This will be Part 2 of the CCSC reopening... to be unveiled next month. Abangan!

2024. This year is historic for sports. The Paris Olympic Games will unfold this July 26. It has been 100 years since France’s capital last hosted the Olympics.

For Cebu, it’s been 30 years since our last Palaro hosting. And, for the CVIRAA, the last time Cebu City welcomed thousands of athletes was in 2014.

CVIRAA. The Central Visayas regional meet is huge: 10,638 athletes and coaches. Yesterday, five sports were played as early as 5:30 a.m. These included Athletics and Gymnastics (in SHS-Ateneo), Bocce Para Games (in Bright Academy), and Baseball and Softball in CDM - Filinvest/SRP.

I had the chance to witness the start of the games yesterday and you can see and feel the excitement of the athletes and parents.

For the elementary students, many of them are traveling for the first time. No thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, many athletes were deprived of the chance to compete and travel outside their homes. We welcome the 20 DepEd divisions of Region 7 to Cebu City!

The 10,638+ athletes and coaches might be the last biggest number of delegates for the CVIRAA. The proposed law creating the Negros Island Region (NIR) is looking poised to be completed. Once that’s enacted into law, eight of the 20 divisions from Region 7 (including Dumaguete, Bayawan, Negros Oriental, Siquijor) will transfer to the NIR. Let’s savor this grand CVIRAA meet.

20 SCHOOLS. Last Friday at 5 a.m., Mayor Mike Rama led our group to inspect the billeting quarters of our CVIRAA athletes. We visited Abellana, City Central, Zapatera, San Nicolas, Gothong, Labangon, Tisa 2, Tejero and Punta Princesa. One benefit of these games is the improvements in the 20 billeting schools.

Beyond Sports, we are able to uplift our schools and playing venues.

OPENING. Last night was the CVIRAA Opening Ceremony. I had the chance to witness the practices last Friday night and it was spectacular. The same team that organize the Sinulog festival — Junjet Primor and Victor Cuenco — were on top of the CVIRAA Opening. This is just a prelude to an even grander showcase during the Palaro. This is the beauty of these giant sporting meets — they bring everyone together in friendship.

CVIRAA and PALARO: Beyond Sports!

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