This highly urbanized southern city in the Visayas, together with the Iloilo provincial government and the Department of Education, are all set to host the 2012 Philippine Youth Games popularly known as Batang Pinoy on December 5-8.
The event will gather around 1,778 athletes and sports officials from 130 local government units in the country.
Spearheaded and organized by the Philippine Sports Commission, the games for LGU-based 15 years old and below, mostly from the elementary grades, will compete in 14 sports disciplines.
The competition will be on arnis, archery, athletics, swimming, basketball, badminton, chess, table tennis, lawn tennis, boxing, karatedo, taekwondo, wushu and triathlon.
PSC Commissioner Jollie Gomez said the revival of Batang Pinoy will focus on talent identification in the grassroots qualified to be enrolled in the proposed regional sports academy. Batang Pinoy plans to adopt athletes for further training for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Gomez said the Batang Pinoy was revived two years ago and was only revived last year in Naga City upon the recommendation of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Iloilo City is a perfect venue for the games with several sports venues and covered gymnasiums and augmented by billeting schools mobilized to accommodate the athletes and sports officials.
Iloilo City will be fielding a total of 227 athletes and 31 coaches; Iloilo province with 141 athletes, 28 coaches and 5 officials; National Capital Region with 250 athletes, 65 coaches and 27 officials; Northern Luzon with 271 athletes, 57 coaches and 26 officials; Southern Luzon with 249 athletes, 60 coaches and 22 officials; and Mindanao with 232 athletes, 62 coaches and 25 officials.
Expected to arrive during the opening ceremonies are PSC Chairman Richie Garcia and Senator Pia Cayetano.*PNA
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