Negros Island Region (NIR), which is a newly created region that will be competing for the 59th Palarong Pambansa for the first time, is 100% ready and confident that its athletes will take center stage in the national sporting competition.
According to Department of Education (DepEd)-NIR Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad, “Although this is the first time, we will do our best to compete [with the other regions]. We are ready [and] we are vying for championship.”
In January, DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said this year’s staging of the Palaro will have many “firsts.”
Luistro said that, “I want to highlight that this is Albay’s first ever hosting of the Palaro. This is also the first time that 18 regions will take action—not the usual 17 regions—because of the participation of the Negros Island Region,” he explained.
NIR’s athletes have undergone series of trainings, one of which is the 25-day training from March 1 to March 28.
“We conducted concentration (trainings) financed by the local government of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and some cities, that also extended financial assistance to the athletes during the training for 25 days,” Sadsad said.
The said training was separately conducted in Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Dumaguete City.
NIR will send 747 official delegates, including student-athletes, coaches, and other regional officials; of which, 481 are student-athletes.
Sadsad said that NIR will also be fielding participants to the special games.
One of the highlights of the Palaro is the special games for children with special needs. These include athletics, swimming, goal ball, and Bocce – a ball sport closely related to bowling. Athletes with special needs are given the chance to be scouted and compete in the games of the Palaro.
Student-athletes from NIR have already been given the allowance, equipment, and vitamins they need for the competition.
The region’s official delegation will arrive in Albay Province on April 4. Sadsad said the NIR is planning to conduct continuous trainings in the host province.