By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To encourage young athletes to specialize in sports, the Department of Education (DepEd) undertakes various initiatives to ensure the “safe and smooth” conduct of regional athletic meets.
“Sports is a very important part of education and we invest a great deal in it,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said when she graced the 2019 Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) Meet in Dumaguete City recently.
According to Albert Sarsuelo of Schools Division of Bayawan City, Briones visited participating delegations of the regional meet to address the concerns of teachers, coaches, and athletes by personally meeting them in their respective billeting quarters.
Briones, during her visit, also reiterated that the DepEd continues to empower the law on its mandate of hosting “Palarong Pambansa” and its regional “counterparts to further enrich and improve the way of teaching and conducting sports.”
“The DepEd sporting event also serves as a major source of national athletes who represent the country in various international sports fests,” Sarsuelo said. “This has produced distinguished Palaro alumni like Lydia de Vega, Elma Muroz, and Eugene Torre,” he added.
Meanwhile, Briones also encouraged the athletes to specialize in sports. Latest statistics show that “less than 0.05 percent of the 1.5 million” Senior High School (SHS) students have chosen the Sports track. The Sports track is one of the tracks offered in SHS along with Academics, Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) and Arts & Design.
Likewise, Briones emphasized that athletes in regional meets – and in other sporting events – should not just “focus on winning but also on the development of those lifelong skills of dealing with others, team building, and bonding with fellow athletes.” Thus, she expressed her confidence that the CVIRAA delegation will do their best.
Believing that physical challenges are not “barriers to participation and excellence in sports,” Briones also commended the athletes with special needs who take part in their sporting events which is the Paralympics.