The 2015 Central Visayas Regional Athletics Association (CVIRAA) Meet officially kicked off on Feb. 26 at the Mayor Exasperanza Binghay Memorial Sports Oval in Balamban, Cebu.
Around 7,000 athletes from 19 school divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd)-7 converged in the regional meet that would last until March 2.
The opening ceremony started with a solidarity mass at the St. Francis of Assisi Church followed by the parade of athletes at 4 p.m. at the Mayor Exasperanza Binghay Sports Center.
Governor Hilario Davide III, together with Vice Governor Magpale, DepEd Regional Director Dr. Juliet Jeruta, Balamban Mayor Ace Stefan Binghay, and Asturia Mayor Allan Adlawan led the lighting ceremony of the CVIRAA Friendship Urn that signifies the sportsmanship of the athletes.
Davide, in his speech, expressed his gratitude to the 19 divisions from the four regions in Central Visayas who participated in the event.
He shared a phrase attributed to the pre-Socratic philosopher Thales, “A healthy mind in a healthy body,” and expkained that athletes must have sound minds and bodies.
“To all the athletes, good luck and God speed. Manghinaut kita nga kaning mga athletes mosalmot sa Palarong Pambansa magchampion kamong tanan (Let us hope that these athletes who will represent in the coming Palarong Pambansa will be champions) and bring home the bacon,” Davide said.
Meanwhile, Jeruta thanked the Cebu provincial government for the financial support of the event.
“Let us remember that all your local government units have invested in you. The Cebu Provincial Government had given us P4.6 million to add to the budget given to us by our national office, which is only P600,000,” she said, pointing out that without the help of the Cebu Province the event will not be realized.
The CVIRAA Meet is the regional sporting competition organized by DepEd with the aim of promoting Physical Education (P.E.) and sports as an integral part of the K to 12 Basic Education Program. It is an affirmation to the schools’ commitment to the full development of the great potentials of the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens of the society.
The CVIRAA Meet will also serve as the selection for the CVIRAA Delegation in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa, which is slated for May 2015 in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
The participants of the regional meet are the athletes, coaches, chaperons, and other delegation officials from the 19 school divisions of Region 7, including the host Cebu Province, Cebu City, Talisay City, Mandaue City, Naga City, Danao City, Carcar City, Bogo City, Toledo City, Lapu-Lapu City, Bohol Province, Tagbilaran City, Siquijor Province, Negros Oriental Province, Dumaguete City, Tanjay City, Bayawan City, Guihulngan City, and Bais City.
The sports featured in the competition are Archery, Arnis, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Chess, Football, Gymnastics, Sepak Takraw, Sepak Takraw Jr. (Sipa), Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Lawn Tennis, and Volleyball.
The demo sports are Futsal for secondary girls, and Billiards, Wushu and Wrestling for all secondary divisions. There will also be a Special Education Olympics for SPED athletes under the Special Education Program of DepEd.
The swimming competition will be held at the Cebu City Sports Center and the rest of the games will be played in Balamban.
Balamban made a remarkable history as being a first-time host of a regional athletic meet in the northwest of Cebu Province.
Among those who graced the grand opening ceremonies were the Davide, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, Provincial Board Member Ivy Durano-Meca, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Binghay, Adlawan, and Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella.
Also in attendance are DepEd-7 OIC Regional Director Juliet Jeruta, Chief of the Resource Mobilization, Special Programs and Projects of the Department of Education in Region Dr. Vivian Ginete, Schools Division Superintendent of Cebu Province Dr. Arden Monisit, and members of the CVIRAA Executive Committee.