Like a magnet pulling people together from different walks of life, sports is indeed an effective instrument for nation-building.
This was the message of Cebu’s 5th District Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI during the opening ceremony of the annual Provincial Meet on Jan. 6 at the Carmen Oval in Carmen town, northern Cebu.
“Sports is indeed a tool in nation-building. Together with education, it remains to be an equalizing force in our society,” said Durano in his inspirational message.
He said students regardless of economic backgrounds are honed to become productive members of society as they showcase the limits of human endurance, a testament to the strength of human spirit.
“Padayon natong gisuportaran ang paningkamot nga mas mapalambo ang kahimtang sa pangeskwela sa kabataan dili lamang sa hisgotanan sa academics kun dili apil usab ang pa-ugnat sa kusog,” he said.
At least 13,000 athletes, coaches, as well as tournament and Department of Education officials from 44 municipalities in the province gathered yesterday for the opening-day salvo.
Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale and Durano also led the raising of banners of the 44 municipalities and assisted the lighting of the urn by Carmen home-grown talents Tchamy Densing of the girls’ basketball team and Jefferson Lacno of athletics, who both made it to the Palarong Pambansa meet.
The vice governor and the congressman also graced the awarding ceremony of the elementary and secondary drums and lyre competitions, which were swept by Balamban town.
In the week-long tournament, athletes will battle it out in 25 sporting events, including archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, baseball, billiard, boxing, chess, dancesports, football, futsal, aero gymnastics, gymnastics, pencak silat, sepak takraw, sipa, softball, swimming, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, wrestling and wushu.
A fireworks display capped the opening ceremony.