If there is a villain – a much-loathed villain – in the lives of sports fanatics, it can only be the CoVid-19 that has been haunting the world these days.
The 2020 Palarong Pambansa, scheduled April in Marikina City, has been shelved by host Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro after discovering two confirmed CoVid cases in the city.
This is a huge stab in the chest, if you ask me.
Student athletes in both elementary and secondary levels in this Dep-Ed organized sports festival have been preparing all year long in order to showcase their talents in the country’s most prestigious school-based competition.
In fact, some Palaro contests have already held their regional competitions like in several regions in Mindanao where the CoVid has not yet reared its ugly face.
The Palaro, is without doubt, the spawning ground of future Filipino sports heroes. Many, if not all, of the past and present outstanding athletes were products of this national students’ sports competition.
If my memory serves me right, the PP (Palarong Pambansa) began as the Public Schools Interscholastic Athletic Association in the fifties.
The NCAA has also cancelled the rest of its unfinished sports events in compliance with directives from the DOH that crowds should be avoided as much as possible.
For this matter, even PBA crowds have been minimized as basketball fans opted to shy away in full cognizance of the dangers of CoVid infection.
If it is of any consolation, parents and families of athletes training for the national Palaro should commend government authorities for instituting much -needed remedial measures to pre-empt the spread of the contagion.
Maybe, if my suggestion is taken seriously, the PP can be re-scheduled three months from now when the effects of CoVid-19 have dissipated, contained and controlled by health authorities.
After all, the sports infra, the financial budget, program and all other details have already been ironed out, including other minute details. Besides, it is just a week-long conclave and the span of time will not seriously dislocate Dep-Ed’s academic program.
Marikina City, which staged the 1974 edition, is one of the ablest hosts of the Palaro because it had been used to host many tournaments- local and international – in the long and recent past.
Well, this is how the ball bounces.
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