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Iloilo gov’t aids schools in sports varsity program

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ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo provincial government helps public schools to secure their sports specializations through a strengthened varsity sports program.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with principals of five public high schools on Monday.

Ray Cabarles, sports development officer, said on Thursday the partnership between the province and the public high schools is geared towards the fulfillment of the Center for Sports and Physical Fitness (CSPF) to be the center for excellence in physical fitness and sports promotion.

The province and the schools aim to produce high-performing athletes by supporting their whole-year training, among others.

The schools will identify and recruit talents under its “Sports-for-All” Program and form varsity teams, which will represent the school in any sports competition and a training pool which is composed of the school reserves.

“The schools will provide food, training allowance, uniform allowance, incentives and benefits, insurance coverage, among others,” Cabarles said.

The varsity team members and the training pool athletes will be funded through the income from school canteens, sports fee from the Parent and Teachers Association (PTA), and other sources under the control of the schools, he added.

Meanwhile, the Iloilo provincial government will provide logistics like sports facilities, sports supplies, sports gear, among others.

Varsity team members and training pool athletes also have free access to facilities and equipment at the Iloilo Sports Complex in this city’s La Paz district, he said.

“Their coaches will also be supported by the province for the government will provide them with free training to level up their coaching skills. We will hire high caliber coaches from even outside the province to mentor our coaches here,” Cabarles said.

The pilot schools for the said program are Iloilo National High School with sports specialization on basketball, volleyball, football, futsal, and chess; Oton National High School on basketball, volleyball, archery, and chess; Pavia National High School on volleyball and basketball; Passi National High School on basketball, volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics, and chess; and Pototan National Comprehensive High School on basketball.

Cabarles clarified that these schools are not confined within the sports they initially specialized in. “They can expand if they have talent on other sports,” he said.

He assured that athletes will not be left behind from class lectures as a “supervisory body” that includes academicians will check on them from time to time.

The program will also boost the confidence of the athletes and urge them to do better not only in sports but also in academics, he said.

Schools in the province are most welcome to partner with the province to support and produce sports champions.

Iloilo has produced various sports icons like basketball players Kris Ann Pingol of Pototan, Ronald Tubid of Oton; Danny Basilan of Passi City, volleyball player Lutrel Bugna of Pavia and high jump queen Alexi Mae Caimoso of Iloilo National High School. (PNA)