MANILA, Philippines – Not only young Filipino athletes are preparing for the 2014 ASEAN Schools Games (ASG).
The Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) said it is ready to host for the first time over 1,500 young competitors from ASEAN countries for the ASG that will run from November 29 to December 7 in Marikina City.
This year, students from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, and the Philippines will be competing in 11 sports events:
- Sepak Takraw
- Table Tennis
- Wushu (added by the Philippines as host country)
Most of the Philippines’ athletes will come from the National Capital Region (NCR) as the overall champion of Palarong Pambansa last May. (READ: Palaro winners represent PH in ASEAN Schools Games)
“Actually, we have an equal representation from both public and private schools coming from NCR,” DepEd NCR Director Luz Almeda said on Wednesday, November 5.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali on Wednesday said while priority is given to Palaro winners, an athlete’s chances of winning against another country is still analyzed, so the department is also open to athletes who did not participate in Palaro.
“Hindi medalya [ang focus] dahil school sports po ito. The emphasis for the ASEAN Schools Games is on discipline, solidarity, and all the values we get [which are] inherent in all these sports. Secondary lang po yung medalya,” he quickly added.
(Since these are school sports, the focus is not on medals. The emphasis for the ASEAN Schools Games is on discipline, solidarity, and all the values we get [which are] inherent in all these sports. Medals are only secondary.)
Umali admitted the country did not perform very well in the past games. This year, though, they expect to fare well in basketball, athletics, golf, and wushu.
The theme of the 2014 ASG is “One ASEAN, One Vision, One Community of Champions” – timely for the impending 2015 ASEAN regional integration.
“We want to promote solidarity, to unite our countries…Our youth will understand each other because they will speak in one language: sports,” Umali said in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com
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