More than medals: Palaro promotes values formation among athletes

David Lozada
“The Palaro aims to instill the values inherent in sports.”

MANILA, Philippines – On May 6-12 this year, young athletes from public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide are expected to compete in different sports events in Lingayen, Pangasinan. This competition will give athletes an opportunity to prove themselves in their respective fields and to represent their respective regions in the games.

This is the annual Palarong Pambansa.

Palarong Pambansa has served as a training ground for young athletes for the past 63 years. This multi-level national athletic competition is conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd) and is hosted by a different province every year.

The event is one of DepEd’s efforts to recognize the importance of sports in developing the youth’s potential to be globally competitive citizens. However, aside from being an avenue for potential world class athletes to showcase their talents, Palaro also highlights the significance of values formation among athletes.

According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, “The Palaro aims to instill among pupils and students the values inherent in sports such as discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, and sportsmanship.”

Luistro added that the Palarong Pambansa hopes to show how sports play a crucial role in the holistic formation of the Filipino youth.

The Palaro has been a jumping board for many successful athletes, a few of them being swimmers Enchong Dee and Akiko Thomposon, tennis player Dyan Castillejo, Philippine Basketball Association stars Danny Ildefonso, Samboy Lim and Kirby Raymundo, and Azkals players Chieffy Caligdong and Kristopher Camcam.

More than the medals after the end of the competitions, the Palarong Pambansa aims to not just form competitive world-class athletes but individuals who can compete in life.

“Sports activities and competitions develop one’s character in handling victories and defeats which will serve as a critical training ground for the opportunities and challenges that will come his/her way,” Luistro said. –

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