January 12, 2017 12:14 AM
By: Elyrose S. Naorbe
THE province of Guimaras will be fielding more or less 450 student-athletes including coaches and officials for the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet 2017 in Antique on Feb. 7-11.
The Mango Capital of the Philippines is feverishly preparing for the regional meet by housing athletes for 45 straight days at the Buenavista Elementary School.
According to Guimaras Provincial Sports Consultant, Dr. Richard Gabayoyo, they started housing their players on Dec. 15, 2016 and part of the program includes daily training, free accommodation and food for the students.
“This year, we tapped coaches from Manila to train our players in various sporting events. We are aiming for more gold medals in WVRAA, especially that the Palarong Pambansa 2017 will be slated here in our region on April 23-28,” Gabayoyo said.
Aside from ball and board games, organizers added wushu, billiards and archery as part of the demonstration sports.
“Because of the new additional sports, the province is also preparing for it. We get trainers from Manila to teach some of our players in archery and billiards. We are gearing for it, especially that we have high expectations from our archers,” Gabayoyo added.
When asked about the status of the students’ academic performance after the 45-day training, the provincial consultant said the Department of Education (DepEd)-Guimaras will provide a special class module for the students to catch up with the lessons they missed during training.
Last year, Guimaras ranked sixth in the regional tilt but produced 11 Palaro qualifiers for the Palaro 2016 edition.