Ex-Palaro medalist eyes gold in DepEd invitational

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LA TRINDAD, Benguet – A Palarong Pambansa gold medalist from the Benguet National High School will test his mettle against other athletes in the country when the DepEd National Invitational Sports Competition kicks off May 29 to June 1 in Iloilo City.   

Denver Tacay will see action in the shotput competition together with two other athletes from the Cordillera region coached by Arniel Ferrera, a former national athlete who is now part of the coaching staff of the Philippine team, for the three-day competition.

Due to budget constraint, Tacay would have skipped the competition but thanks to Congress  Representative–elect Eric Go Yap who extended financial assistance, the 15-year-old will be able to see action in the three-day competition that will feature athletics, swimming, badminton, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and sepak takraw. 

“Sobrang grateful kay Cong. Yap dahil may naibigay na support sa aming mga athletes. Ang goal po ngayon is to set a record sa competition and enjoy the game,” said Tacay. 

The national competition will be the qualification tournament for the upcoming 12th ASEAN School Games scheduled November 19–28 in Dumaguete City.

Ferrera also thanked Yap for his assistance, adding he remains upbeat of Tacay’s chances of winning a medal in the competition.

“Salamat kay Rep. Yap for his support dahil alam naman natin na eto palagi ang dilemma ng mga coaches dahil basically kame halos lahat ang nagbibigay ng mga needs ng mga bata. Nakakagaan ng loob kasi yung burden sa amin, ay nabigyan ng solusyon,” said Ferrera.

Ferrera added the assistance will also go along way as it gives extra motivation for athletes to excel in their sport.  

“Hopefully, sana ma encourage at ma-motivate para dumami pa ang katulad ni Denver and hopefully dumami ang champions galing Benguet,” said Ferrera of Tacay, who won a gold medal in shot put during the 2019 Palarong Pambansa held in Davao.   

Ferrera added Tacay will be among the competitors to watch for in the three-day tournament. 

“Based on our training, maganda ang progression niya (Tacay) and isa sa mga competitions na sinalihan niya a few months ago, nakapag-gold siya,” added Ferrera. 

Tacay earlier won a gold medal in discus throw heaping 37.29 meters during the PATAFA 2022 SEA Games Performance Trials in March.