Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Celia Kiram (second from left) talks about the government's grassroots sports programs during the Batang Pinoy Luzon qualifying leg press conference at the Isabela Sports Complex in Ilagan City, Isabela on Sunday (March 17, 2019). From left are PSC Commissioner Charles Maxey, Ilagan City Vice Mayor Vedasto Villanueva and City Government Service Office chief Ricky Laggui. (Contributed photo)
ILAGAN CITY, Isabela -- Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Celia Kiram on Sunday encouraged the local government unit (LGUs) to boost livelihood through sports tourism as she thanked Ilagan, Isabela for hosting the Batang Pinoy Luzon elimination.
"We would like to extend our appreciation to the City of Ilagan for hosting the Batang Pinoy Luzon leg,” Kiram said in a press conference at the Ilagan Sports Complex here.
“Sports tourism helps develop the economy of a locality. Hopefully, more sports events will be held here and this will add to the livelihood of the people of Ilagan," she added.
Meanwhile, a total of 18 sports will be played across 17 venues here as the Luzon qualifying leg of the 2019 Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy (PYG-BP) kicks off on Monday here.
A total of 4,644 athletes from 119 local government units (LGUs) are entered in the week-long tournament organized by the PSC for children 15 years old and below.
Baguio has the biggest delegation at 358 followed by Pangasinan (253), Pasig City (243) and Ilagan (187).
Swimming will be held at the Isabela Sports Complex while other sports will be played at the AM City Open Field (archery and baseball), Barangay Baculod Covered Court (arnis), Calamagui First Covered Court (badminton), Ilagan Community Center (basketball), Barangay Bagumbayan Covered Court (boxing), Xentro Mall Open Lobby (chess), Barangay San Felipe Covered Court (futsal and taekwondo), Casa del Nino Montesorri School (karatedo), Ilagan Sports Complex and Isabela Sports Complex (lawn tennis), Barangay Osmena Covered Court (pencak silat), Barangay Agassian Covered Court (sepak takraw), Isabela Sports High School (softball), Isabela Sports Complex (swimming and beach volleyball), Northstar Mall (table tennis), Camunatan Covered Court (women's volleyball) and Barangay Baligatan Covered Court (men's volleyball).
Aside from Kiram, PSC Commissioners Charles Maxey and Ramon Fernandez also thanked the City of Ilagan headed by Evelyn Diaz for hosting the Batang Pinoy, considered as the best grassroots development program in the country.
Also present during the press conference were Ilagan City Vice Mayor Vedasto Villanueva, City Councilor Jun Montereal and General Services office head Ricky Laggui.
A total of 1,260 medals will be at stake in the tournament formerly known as the Philippine Youth Games, a program mandated by Executive No. 44 as a platform for friendly competition for students and out-of-school youth.
Meanwhile, 11 sports namely billiards, cycling, gymnastics, judo, muay thai, rugby football, triathlon, soft tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu have been included in the National Finals scheduled in October in either Bohol or Ormoc City.
The Mindanao leg qualifying was held in Tagum, Davao del Norte last February 2-9 while Iloilo province hosted the Visayas leg held from February 23 to March 2. (PNA)