No sports complex, no problem

SunStar Gulanes
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When an LGU fails to make the grade in regional and national sporting competitions and blames it on not having a sports complex, it’s a lame excuse.

For what sporting event can’t be held outside the sports complex? Almost nil. Certainly, basketball and volleyball can be hosted in barangay gymnasiums and public parks. And a surface finished with anti-slip, rubberized paint would do the trick.

Swimming is no different. Many champion swimmers in this archipelagic country, especially in Mindanao, started training in the open sea. Not to mention that most swimmers from the Davao Region have mastered their strokes and speed not in Olympic-size aquatic centers, but in 25-meter pools in private schools and subdivisions.

Combat sports like taekwondo and karate usually have their training hubs in their dojos and even inside the malls. They are run by local private clubs affiliated with their respective National Sports Association. This community-based training is the open secret of champion LGUs.

Football and bat-and-ball games pose unique challenges due to their large space requirements. However, many communities are not lacking in vast open fields and idle lands that could be maximized as playing fields.

Running is the least problematic. We have the entire stretch of the national highway or provincial roads for endurance workouts, plus the rolling paved hills and thin air in the boondocks to rev up the training regimen.

The world-class Kenyan distance runners and our local footrace heroes like Eduardo “Bertek” Buenavista and even Lorenz Datiles, 2024 Davraa secondary boys' multiple gold medalists, are living proofs that sophisticated rubberized oval may be crucial but not essential at all.

However, this is not to ditch our dream of constructing a sports complex. With this, we can host big-ticket sports competitions like Palarong Pambansa and other national games, which would immensely impact our budding athletes as they could witness the stunning performance of elite athletes up close and personal.

It’s clear that while we patiently await the construction of a sports complex, we could be resourceful in finding alternative training venues and still produce champions. No problem.

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