Fresh hopes of producing new sports heroes for the country emerged anew as the 2016 Batang Pinoy National Finals formally opened last Sunday at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Celia Kiram, the designated overseer of this youth sports program, expressed optimism that the weeklong event will produce the next generation of national athletes.
The youth-oriented sports conclave is now underway at various venues in Davao del Norte with the main venue at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Mankilam, Tagum City.
“Batang Pinoy is a source of national pride because the best-of-the-best young home-grown talents from the countryside are seeing action in their favorite sports,” said Kiram, who was designated by PSC Chairman William Ramirez to supervise the tournament.
“I expect young fresh talents to emerge and new records will be established because all the participants have the burning ambition to shine in their pet events,” added Kiram, who headed the Philippine delegation to the Children of Asia International Sports Games in Russia this year.
Davao del Norte governor Anthony Del Rosario welcomed around 13,000 athletes who are competing in 27 sports calendared in the Batang Pinoy. Also on hand during the colorful opening program were House Speaker Bebot Alvarez, PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, PSC Commissioners Charles Maxey and Mon Fernandez, PBA Party List Rep. Koko Nograles, Rep. Prospero Pichay, Rep. Ruwel Gonzaga and Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon.
The province also hosted the 2015 Palarong Pambansa, 2015 PRISAA National Games and 2015 Mindanao Qualifiers of the Batang Pinoy.
The Batang Pinoy program is the PSC’s grassroots development program that caters to school-based and out-of-school athletes 17-years-old and below.
Champions in the Batang Pinoy are sent to the Children of Asia tournament, an annual competition held in the northeastern Russian region of Yakutia.
Kiram, who is assisted by fellow Commissioner and former Edge Davao editorial consultant Maxey, said the PSC has allocated P15 million to ensure the successful conduct of the Batang Pinoy National Finals. (With report from PNA)