Cebu City Niños off to Vigan to compete in Batang Pinoy Championships
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Niños are optimistic to shine in the Batang Pinoy National Championships that will kick off tomorrow, Dec. 17 and ends on Dec. 21, 2022, in the Province of Ilocos Sur.
Before their send-off last Wednesday, John Pages, Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) chairman, reminded the 93-strong athletes to be grateful for the great opportunity to represent the Queen City of the South in this major multi-sports meet organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
“I had the chance to speak to the 90 athletes during our Final Briefing yesterday (Wednesday). I reminded them to be thankful,” said Pages during their send-off ceremony at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“Thankful for this great opportunity to join one of the country’s biggest events. Thankful that many will get the chance to fly to Manila and visit Vigan for the first time. Thankful for the chance to represent Cebu City. Thankful to the parents and coaches who have sacrificed so much for their success,” Pages said.
Cebu City Niños campaign
A total of 123 delegates from Cebu City along with 17 coaches and 13 officials from the CCSC will be campaigning in the five-day meet.
The Niños will be competing in archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, and obstacle course racing.
The Niños will heavily rely on athletics and weightlifting.
Cebu City Niños coach optimistic
For his part, athletic coach Arvin Loberanis, who is fresh from helping towing the University of San Carlos’ (USC) track and field team to dominate the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) collegiate track and field competition, said that he was optimistic and confident at the same time that his tracksters would bag medals.
“As a coach, I need to be positive all the time and trust my athletes’ potentials. At the same time I trust their preparation. So I am very definite na momedal gyud sila sa tagsa tagsa nila ka events (that they would get medals in their respective events),” said Loberanis.
Challenges of Cebu City Niños
However, Loberanis said that despite their optimism, they were also facing numerous challenges.
“The biggest challenge is the transition of their training and how to put each athletes’ mind in a positive way and to challenge themselves to win this competition. But we had lots of preparation rendered in this Batang Pinoy competition. We built their stamina, their strength, and we coped with their weight also, so they will be in shape during competition. For me, this opportunity is overwhelming knowing that sports is back in track again,” said Loberanis.
10 lifters for Cebu City Niños
Meanwhile, national weightlifting coach Christopher Bureros, who will be fielding in 10 lifters from Cebu City, said that they were 100 percent ready for the competition.
Bureros, who also trains Olympian Elreen Ando, said that his lifters were very excited to get into action in Batang Pinoy.
“Actually excited na kaayo sila nga makadula sa Batang Pinoy. Confident jud ko makamedal sila kay 10 gud sila kabuok. Actually, based sa akong nakita sa mga previous records sa Batang Pinoy, kaya kaayo nila malabwan ang record,” said Bureros.
(Actually, they are excited to compete in Batang Pinoy. I am confident that they will win medals because there are 10 of them. Actually, based on what I saw from the previous records of Batang Pinoy, they are capable of surpassing the record.)
10-hour bus trip
Despite his confidence, Bureros, like Loberanis is also wary of the challenge they might encounter during their long and grueling travel from Manila to Vigan.
The travel on bus from Manila to Vigan takes about 10 hours depending on the traffic which could affect their athletes’ condition and performance. Plus, Bureros is still wary about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang pinakadako nga challenge para namo kay kung naay masakit. Kahibalo baya ta nga naa pa ta sa pandemic sa pagkakaron. Maovercome unta ni namo tanan challenges,” said Bureros.
(Our biggest challenge for me is when one of them gets sick. We know that the pandemic is still here. We hope that we can overcome all the challenges.)
Besides athletics and weightlifting, the Niños are competing in badminton, chess, cycling, swimming, table tennis, and obstacle course racing.
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