With a number of sports thriving in the pandemic thanks to virtual tournaments, Palarong Pambansa looks to incorporate these developments into the major multi-sport event for primary and secondary students.
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretariat’s Joel Erestain revealed that they are working on how to roll out these virtual events when the competition makes its target comeback in 2022.
“What we’re working on, it’s still a bit uphill because the situations and circumstances surrounding us are still changing, but we’re looking and we’re hoping, and we’re planning to hold a virtual Palarong Pambansa,” said Erestain on Tuesday, February 2 in the online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum.
According to the DepEd representative, they will definitely be able to incorporate the forms disciplines of the various martial arts especially after the success of Filipino virtual kata world No. 1 James delos Santos.
DepEd continues to study how to incorporate timed and measurement sports such as track and swimming into the virtual arena, as they currently demand many logistical requirements.
“We put aside those plans first because if we look at the situation of Palarong Pambansa for this year, it might [resume next year instead] because it will depend on the vaccine rollout nationwide especially on students,” added Erestain.
Local sports federations like the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) are also shifting online as it is set to host the first national virtual half-marathon challenge on February 22 to 28.
Erestain also said the plans haven’t been finalized as they are still working on the proposal to be approved by the DepEd board before raising them to the Inter-Agency Task Force.
DepEd might also enforce age groups depending on the sporting event in the Palarong Pambansa, as only people in specific age ranges are allowed outside with regards to the community quarantine situations.
“Pero makikita namin pag nag-ease up na ang situation, puwede tayo dumagdag ng sporting events and mga bata puwede lumahok,” said Erestain.
(But if we see that the situation eases up, we can add sporting events and the number of kids who can join.)
Last year’s Palarong Pambansa that was set to be hosted by Marikina was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. – Rappler.com