THE Northern Luzon leg of the 2012 Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games will kick off Tuesday at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Promising athletes aged 15 years old and below will flaunt their skills in the Oct. 10-13 meet where 12 sports offer qualifying slots for the national championship at the end of the year.
Host of this year's Palarong Pambansa, Pangasinan is set to feature top young talent from the region in arnis, athletics, badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, lawn tennis, swimming, taekwondo and table tennis aside from providing the stage for the national finals of cycling and baseball.
"Besides showcasing young athletes with exceptional talent, the Batang Pinoy Games here is a glimpse of future national team members capable of winning medals in international tournaments,'' said Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino Jr.
Athletics and badminton will be played at NRSCC, arnis at Pangasinan State University, boxing at Lingayen plaza, taekwondo at Pangasinan Training and Development Center, table tennis at alley building, chess at Pangasinan provincial library, baseball at Capitol beach front, cycling on Maramba Blvd. while swimming will be held in Dagupan City.
Pangasinan will field 300 athletes apart from separate delegations from Alaminos and Dagupan. Participants from Baguio City, La Union, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Ilocos are expected to challenge the host province for supremacy.
Gov. Espino will welcome the athletes in a brief opening ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday following the solidarity meeting in the morning among tournament officials and organizers and a refresher course on Oct. 8.
The POC-PSC Batang Pinoy Games launched its talent discovery program in Marikina City last month. The best and brightest athletes in each of the five legs competing in the national championship in Iloilo City from Dec. 5-8.
Oriental Mindoro will host the Southern Luzon qualifying Oct. 24-27, the Mindanao leg will be held in Cagayan De Oro Nov. 7-10, and Tacloban City, Leyte is the host for the Visayas qualifier Nov. 21-24.
Medal winners in the national championship of the POC-PSC Batang Pinoy Games will be considered for the national developmental pool.