Dagupan sends 427 athletes, coaches to R1AA meet

DAGUPAN CITY — A total of 427 athletes and coaches will represent Dagupan City in this year’s Region 1 Athletic Association (IRAA) meet in Vigan, Ilocos Sur from March 4 to 8.

Mayor Belen T. Fernandez said the city’s athletes will seek to preserve, if not improve, their runner-up finish in the 2016 edition of R1AA meet then held in San Carlos City.

The opening program of R1AA meet will be on March 4 at 2 p.m. at the newly-renovated Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

The city delegation will compete with 13 delegations in more than 20 different game categories.

In this meet, Dagupan will compete in more events than last year’s.

The events include billiards, goal ball, wushu and bocce, archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, chess, boxing, football, futsal, gymnastics, lawn tennis, sepak-takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and wrestling.

The city government granted its athletes financial support amounting to PHP960.00, aside from their uniforms and gadgets.

In her talk with the athletes on Wednesday, Mayor Fernandez urged them to bring home gold medals so they can equal if not exceed their runner-up finish last year and 7th in 2015.

But before this, Dagupan was always nowhere in the top standing among the 14 R1AA delegations.

“I remember when I held my first school board meeting with DepEd as mayor of the city three years ago, when I asked the sports coordinator Edil Abalos about the strength and weakness of the Dagupan athletes, he wryly told me that we won only for having the best uniform,” Fernandez. said.

In its historic second place finish in the R1AA in San Carlos City last year, Dagupan trailed champion Pangasinan 2.

“Aim for gold. Aim for number 1,” said Fernandez as she assured the athletes that an incentive awaits those who will bring home gold medals. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com