The City Government of Baguio will be sending a 30-man contingent to the 2019 Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled (Philspada) national para-games scheduled from May 23 to 31 at the Bulacan Sports Complex in Malolos, Bulacan.
Newly appointed Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Affairs Officer Samuel Aquino said Baguio City will be sending 25 athletes with three coaches and two caregivers to the national para-games.
Aquino noted, in a coordination meeting with the athletes and coaches, that most of the Baguio delegate are new athletes with minimal experience on national tournaments. However, Aquino hopes that the national para-games will serve as an encouragement for the physically impaired athletes to hone their skills.
Leading the Baguio team are bemedalled archers Giovanni Ola and Allan Campos who will also be competing in discuss throw, shotput and javelin throw. Other athletes competing for archery and athletics are William Cablog, Elizabeth Bayla, Estella Florendo and Agustina Bantiloc.
For athletics, contingents are: John Joseph Magpantay, Jackson Limmayog, Daniel Andres Padilan, and Victoria Elio.
Edwin Edades, Jethro Vergara, Denmark Dulnuan and Orly Hamaon will be competing for chess while Jaime Mangina and Armando Gaw will be joining the ten pin bowling. Meantime, Carlos Gamboc and Jenny Hernandez will be seeing action in badminton while Agustina Kitan and Romeo Tayawa will be competing for the powerlifting event.
Aquino said most of the Baguio athletes have orthopaedic disability, intellectual disability, deaf and hearing impaired, visually impaired while one athlete has cerebral palsy with ages ranging from 13 to 62 years of age.
“Our aim is to develop the skills of our PWD athletes until they become professionals of their own fields and serve as sport coaches someday since as early as now, they look as sports a sort of livelihood,” Aquino said.
He said the city government through the City Sports Office has earmarked Php200,000.00 budget for the para-athletes particularly to sponsor their uniforms, transportation and meal allowances.
The sports tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Sports Commission under its Philippine Paralympic Committee caters to 15 athletic events and serves as the national sports association for physically impaired athletes aimed at developing sport competency for Filipino PWDs.*
By Jessa Mardy P. Samidan