The organizers of the Philippine University Games will honor the late Bro. Rolando Dizon, founder of the annual multi-event collegiate competition, during the opening ceremony tonight, 6:30 p.m. at the USLS Coliseum.
UniGames president Roger Banzuela said they will also launch at the opening rites the Bro. Roland Dizon Memorial UniGames Foundation, that will spearhead a year-round training program for the development of coaches and athletes.
He said they plan to hold sports clinics, coaches training, sports psychology and sports medicine seminars and other programs with the provincial coaches as the main focus.
Also on the drawing board is the possible holding of an international invitational competition on three popular sports in the UniGames – basketball, volleyball, and football, Banzuela said.
Should the plans push through, he said they may invite delegations from Hongkong, Korea, and Thailand to compete with the top schools from the UniGames.
Now on its 17th year, the UniGames is recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission as the official tertiary competition in the country. PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia will be attending the opening program tonight to deliver his message to contingents from the 51 schools joining in this year’s competition.
In a press conference yesterday at the University of St. La Salle, Banzuela said the partnership of the UniGames and the Sandugo Sandals contributed to the growth of the competition.
Sandugo executive vice president Perry Doroja, on the other hand, assured the public of their company’s commitment to the UniGames in the years to come.
As to the possible inclusion of outdoor sports in the competition, Doroja said it is up to the UniGames officials on what sporting events to include in their list.
Banzuela, meanwhile, said the UniGames will be permanently held in the Western Visayas region due to the strategic location of the area.
As the competitions start today, all contingents are already in Bacolod and had been practicing in the different venues, except for three schools from Davao – the Holy Cross of Davao College, Brokenshire College, and University of Mindanao.
Out to defend their respective titles in the weeklong competition are: the Ateneo de Manila University (men’s basketball), University of St. La Salle (women’s volleyball), Far Eastern University (men and women’s athletics, men’s volleyball, women’s chess and women’s football), San Beda (men and women’s swimming and men’s table tennis), and St.Benilde, (men’s chess and men’s taekwondo).*NAB
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