MANILA, Philippines – The newly-created Negros Island Region (NIR) is “100% ready” for its first-ever participation in the 59th Palarong Pambansa, confident that its athletes will take center stage in the national sporting competition.
“Although this is the first time, we will do our best to compete [with the other regions]. We are ready [and] we are vying for championship,” said Department of Education (DepEd)-NIR Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro had earlier said that this year’s Palaro will have many “firsts.”
“I want to highlight that this is Albay’s first ever hosting of the Palaro. This is also the first time that 18 regions will take action – not the usual 17 regions – because of the participation of the Negros Island Region,” Luistro explained in January.
NIR’s athletes have undergone a series of trainings, including one that stretched from March 1 to March 28.
“We conducted concentration (trainings) financed by the local government of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and some cities that also extended financial assistance to the athletes during the training for 25 days,” Sadsad said.
This training was conducted in Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Dumaguete City.
NIR will send 747 official delegates – 481 student-athletes with their coaches and other regional officials.
Sadsad said that NIR will also field participants to the special games.
One of the highlights of the Palaro is the special games for children with special needs. These include athletics, swimming, goal ball, and Bocce – a ball sport closely related to bowling. Athletes with special needs are given the chance to be scouted and compete in the games of the Palaro.
Student-athletes from NIR have received the allowance, equipment, and vitamins they need for the competition.
The region’s official delegation arrived in Albay on Monday, April 4. Sadsad said the NIR is planning to conduct continuous trainings in the host province. – Rappler.com
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