THE Southern Luzon qualifying leg of the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games begins on Wednesday with competitions in medal-rich athletics and swimming at the Jose Leido Memorial National High School.
The event for athletes 15 years old and below formally began Tuesday with the opening ceremony led by Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr., PSC chairman Richie Garcia and PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez. Vice governor Rodolfo Valencia and top local officials also graced the opening rites attended by over 600 young athletes from 12 local government units.
Host Oriental Mindoro and Calapan have gathered an army of 220 athletes expected to deliver in 11 sports and hold their fort against entries from Laguna, Lucena City, Antipolo City, Cavite City, Imus and Dasmarinas (Cavite), Tanauan, Batangas, San Pedro and Sta. Rosa (Laguna), and Lucban, Quezon.
Also set to be played in the five-day meet are competitions in arnis, badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, lawn tennis, taekwondo, table tennis, and wrestling.
“This is a rare chance for the best young athletes in the region to come out and show off their skills. We're excited to find such talents here in the Batang Pinoy and help them maximize their potentials,” said Gomez.
Lawn tennis will be held at JJ Leido Memorial National High School, taekwondo will be held at the Gov. Umali Memorial Gym, arnis and chess at Adriatico Elementary School Gym, badminton at Anahaw Resort, boxing at Calapan City Plaza, karatedo and table tennis at Neo Calapan Mall, and wrestling at Brgy. Sto. Nino covered gym.
The Southern Luzon tryouts is the third of five regional qualifying legs for the Batang Pinoy national championships in Iloilo City set from December 5-8.
The National Capital Region qualifying was held last month in Marikina City while Lingayen, Pangasinan hosted the Northern Luzon leg two weeks ago.
The Mindanao leg is set on November 7-10 in Dapitan City and the Visayas qualifiers will be held in Tacloban City from November 21-24.