MANILA — As the Palarong Pambansa 2017 draws nearer, hundreds of student-athletes from public and private schools at elementary and secondary levels look forward to show their best.
The 60th edition of the Palaro, organized by the Department of Education (DepEd) set from April 23 to 29 will be held for the first time in San Jose, Buenavista, Antique, which is blessed with natural springs and pristine beaches.
For young, secondary and graduating student-athletes, Palarong Pambansa is the culmination of school sports competition, hoping to be discovered for a collegiate scholarship for their future, and a chance in becoming an elite member of the national team to represent the country in international competitions.
Four sports namely- wushu, billiard, wrestling and futsal are added in the regular sports. They are not exactly “new sports” but in the previous editions of the Palaro, were only held as demo sports, which means medals won in these events are not counted in the overall medal tally.
Futsal with association of an “indoor football” and played on a hard court is elevated from being a demonstration sport and will be played as a regular sports discipline for the first time in the Palaro.
DepEd also has included 50-meter and 100-meter runs for athletics and chess for the blind for the special people.
The regular sporting events to be contested in the secondary division are –archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw s, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball.
The same events will be contested in the elementary division except for archery and boxing.
Famous Filipino athletes who are product of Palaro which started in 1948 (Manila) are – Lydia de Vega, of Meycauayan, Bulacan, former Asia’s sprint queen (80s), who dominated the 100-200 sprint competitions in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG); and Elmas Muros-Posadas,of Magdiwang, Romblon,who specialized in long jump and the former “Iron Lady” of SEAG in the 90s, to name a few. PRIMO P. AGATEP/PNA-northboundasia.com