DAVAO CITY - Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez is excited with the prospect of unearthing talent from the barangay level following the start of the Mindanao Children's Games here.
Around 500 children from 30 barangays attended the opening day of the first leg of the Games at the Almendras Gym where kids participated in 3x3 basketball, volleyball, and Larong Pinoy.
Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was the guest of honor in the opening ceremony that was moved from the Rizal Park to the Almendras Gym for safety reasons owing to the tension in Marawi City.
Ramirez said the Davao kick-off of the Mindanao Children's Games is just the beginning as different legs will be held in Cagayan De Oro and Butuan in the coming months.
While he admitted the project may be ambitious, Ramirez said the Games is a major step in encouraging children to go into sports while casting a wider net in the search for top sports talent.
"I know this is an ambitious project but this is the first step in developing athletes. I hope that we can sustain this program so our efforts won't go to waste," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said encouraging kids to get into sports will help bolster the talent base for other PSC programs such as Batang Pinoy and Philippine National Games.
In the end, Ramirez said having more children into sports will be beneficial to national sports associations in their search for talent for the national team.
"We are making sports available to the people which is also our mandate," Ramirez said.