COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has sent over 400 student-athletes in this year’s Palarong Pambansa in Vigan town in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Sur.
Secretary Rasol Mitmug, Jr. of the Department of Education-ARMM, said sports is another way for students to strive to become better individuals. “Dito nakikita din ng mga estudyante na kailangan magpursigi para makuha nila ang inaasam nila—ang medalya. Nai-instill sa kanila dito ang disiplina na mahalaga para makuha mo ang gusto mong makamit.”
This year, ARMM is participating in 21 sports events – Arnis; Athletics; Badminton; Basketball; Chess; Futsal; Sepak Takraw; Softball; Table Tennis; Tennis; Volleyball; Wrestling; Wushu; Billiards; Archery; Pencak Silat; Taekwondo; Baseball; Boxing; Football; and Swimming.
Among the ARMM athletes is Taekwondo black-belt Ricco Jame Teraytay, 17, the lone Palarong Pambansa gold-medalist from ARMM last year. He remains hopeful that the region’s delegates will bag more medals this year due to strengthened support from the regional government.
“Ngayong mas ramdam namin ang suporta ng gobyerno, sana makapag-uwi pa kami ng mas madaming medals para magbigay karangalan din sa ARMM,” he said. Aside from the regional government’s efforts to help the athletes, Sec. Mitmug commended the provincial governments for their active role in supporting their homegrown players.
The regional Education secretary has raised concern that the training of the players in ARMM are not year-round thus the need to strengthen the support. He said that the DepEd plans to introduce a “club system”, which will identify the expertise of each school, as well as “after-school programs”, which will encourage students to train for sports instead of doing unnecessary extra-curricular activities.
He sees these interventions as added support for the athletes so that they will have more time to prepare for the Palaro season. Noting that a player from the war-torn city of Marawi qualified for the national meet, he says it is one thing sports is teaching.
“Nakikita natin na ang deteminasyon ng mga manlalaro ay matindi – kahit anong pagdaanan, patuloy pa ding nageensayo,” Sec. Mitmug said. “Diyan natututunan ng bata na hindi lang laging panalo, kundi habang mas natatalo, nag-strive to better his skills then hoping that one day, ma-achieve pa din ang medal,” he added.
The Palarong Pambansa, which begins April 15 and ends on April 21, is a yearly sports event organized by the DepEd with participation from the country’s 18 regions. The participants are students from elementary and secondary levels from private and public schools. (Bureau of Public Information)
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