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Cebu City ready to host national sporting events again

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, sports leaders in Cebu City say the city is now ready to host major local and national tournaments, including the Palarong Pambansa football event. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City is now ready to host local and national sporting events, Cebu sports stakeholders said during the city hall interactive discussion titled “Panaghisgot” on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

The forum featured Cebu City Vice Mayor Dondon Hontiveros, former Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) and now Board Member Edward Hayco, Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) Director Jesse Taborada, Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA) Board Member Jose Guy. Ceniza and multi-title football coach Glen Ramos.

During the forum, the guests revealed many sporting events planned in Cebu City for the rest of the year after announcing on February 25, 2022 that the city had authorized the organization of all forms of sports at all levels with a set of guidelines.

One of them is the Palarong Pambansa Football Tournament at CCSC scheduled for April 25-27, 2022 with many school teams across the country.

The teams will compete in a bubble set up as a Department of Education (DepEd) ‘dry trial’ before going full-throttle on the Palarong Pambansa next year.

Additionally, the CVFA will host the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) U-19 Champions Regional Elimination in June at the same venue.

“We hope it will go from April 25 to 27. Bubble ni siya, it was planned man gyud when the pandemic started, bisan pa karon with the easing of restrictions, we decided to go through, all the contingencies naay surge, dili na maapektuhan, ug mahadlok mabalik ta ato, makapadayon ra gihapon,” Ceniza said.

On the other hand, Hontiveros revealed many upcoming sporting events in Cebu this year.

First, he said Cebu City plans to hold an inter-barangay basketball and volleyball tournament, tentatively set after the election.

“From the sports budget, part was devoted to the city’s recovery program during the Typhoon Odette pandemic. We work with the resources we have. Naa ta inter-barangay, basketball, volleyball, we set guidelines, dili pa namo ma supply all bata-bata nga players,” Hontiveros said.

Second, he mentioned a major tennis tournament featuring players and teams from Cebu City and Bacolod with further details to be announced soon.

“Cebu has four teams, two Bacolod teams, hopefully after the end of April, sud pa man sa atong budget, ug wala nay election ban, we can give na prizes. Also, the Bohol Spartan Race held recently should be brought here to Cebu,” Hontiveros added.

Meanwhile, Hayco told the forum that CCSC has been busy during the onset of the pandemic with its virtual training program and tournaments.

He revealed that they had made sure the CCSC maintained their grassroots sports program as a way to help the mental health of young people in Cebu City.

“In fact, even during the pandemic, wala jud nato gihunong atong programa, we made sure all the kids stayed online, we had online training, online competition. Bisag dili siya as effective as face to face, at least ang bata ug mga ginikanan, kept them sane during the pandemic,” Hayco said.

Hayco recently held the very successful 14th Danceport sa Sugbo, a national face-to-face dancesport competition held in Cebu City which attracted over 400 participants.

In addition to revealing the initial lineup of sporting events taking place in Cebu City in the coming weeks and months, the CCSC, under its new Chairman John Pages, is currently in the process of realigning its schedule and accepting recording of upcoming sporting events. /rcg

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