Its all systems go for the Batang Pinoy Mindanao-wide leg from October 27-30 here in Zamboanga, Asias Latin City.
Some 2,000 athletes, ages 15 and below are expected to converge in Zamboanga to vie for the Mindanao-wide qualifier of the newly-revived national multi-sport competition Batang Pinoy.
The participating athletes who will represent their respective local government units (LGUs) from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA and ARMM, will battle off in 15 different sporting events. These are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball (3-on-3), boxing, chess, gymnastics, judo, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
Winners of the said events will form part of the regional qualifying group for the national encounters on December 1013 at Naga City, Camarines Sur.
Mayor Lobregat the other day met with the co-organizers that include the Institute of Human Kinetics of Universidad de Zamboanga and other coordinating agencies to finalize plans for the 3-day sports competition.
The offices concerned are now geared up to handle the receptions of the 6 participating regions.
The City government is also providing transport support to the delegates to ferry them from their billeted quarters to the playing grounds.
According to the City Sports Division Chief Mr. Bernardito Patiño, some 223 athletes will form the contingent of the City Government of Zamboanga with a complete participation of all the sporting events.
As of this writing, there were already 4 contigents who confirmed their participation. These are Iligan City, Gingoog City, Dipolog City and Basilan.
Zamboanga is the first City in Mindanao to host the first of the 5-leg regional qualifiers since the said multi-event sportfest hibernated 10 years ago. For the Visayas leg, it will be conducted in Dumaguete City on November 10-13; Northern Luzon Leg will be in Davao from November 2427; NCR Leg will be hosted in Makati City on November 29 - December 2 and; Southern Luzon Leg will fall on December 47 at Sta. Cruz City Laguna.
All winners of the 5 legs will compete for the national event at Naga City set in December.
Batang Pinoy was first introduced in 1999 by virtue of Executive Order No. 44, otherwise known as the Philippine Youth GamesBatang Pinoy under the Philippine Sports Commission however the event ceased to operate since 2003.
It differs from the Palarong Pambansa since it is an open category, meaning even private schools may join since they are representing their LGU. Additionally, it also accepts out-of-school youth.
According to the PSC, the revival of the said sports event envisioned to address the need for a grassroots sports program centered on values formation inherent in the practice of sports and play.
In coordination with the Philippine Olympic Committee and National Sports Associations, Batang Pinoy is being tailored as the selection scheme of young athletes to represent the country in the second edition of Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in 2014, and for other international age group competitions.