SPORTS DEV’T PROGRAM. Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro (center) leads the meeting of the city's Sports Commission on Wednesday (Oct. 23, 2019). The mayor ordered the creation of a sustainable sports development program to promote sports among the youth. (Photo courtesy of Marikina City Information Office)

MANILA -- Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro has ordered the drafting of a sustainable sports development program to promote sports among the city’s youths to engage them to have an active lifestyle and discourage them from turning to vices.

In a statement on Saturday, Teodoro, who heads the Marikina City Sports Commission, said he and the body's members convened with sports coordinators and trainers of the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division Office in the city to create a community-based sports program that would properly train student-athletes.

The city's Sports Commission is composed of Martin Ilagan, local sports association head; Dr. Elizalde Cena, chief education supervisor DepEd-Marikina; Dr. Angelito Llabres, Marikina City Sports Center administrator; Barangay Sta. Elena chairman, Benedict Bernardo; and youth council chairman Jonas Reyes as members.

Isipin niyo na maging sustainable ang sports development program para sa mga batang tini-train natin. ‘Yung disiplina sa laro ay nasa sarili nila (Think about how to have a sustainable sports development program for the children we train. The discipline in sports is within them),” Teodoro told the coordinators during a meeting on October 23.

Pero hindi mangyayari ang lahat ng ito kapag walang sports development program (But all these will not be possible without a sports development program). At hindi tayo makakabuo ng sports development program pag kumuha lang tayo ng professional na gagawa nito o kaya may gagawa lang para sa atin (And we cannot formulate a sports development program if we only get a professional or somebody who will do the work for us),” he added.

Teodoro called for the meeting to consult and discuss the planned sports program with the city’s sports coordinators, and to determine the sports that need to be developed.

To be given priority are volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, sepak takraw, baseball, table tennis, badminton, and arnis, as well as the pep squad.

Teodoro said the program, which will be funded by the local school board, will also make use of the three-hectare Marikina Sports Center, parts of which are being renovated.

Wala akong activity o event na tinitingnan o pinagtutuunan. Gusto ko araw-araw, linggo-linggo, buwan-buwan, may mga programa tayo sa sports. Para sa ganun, makakapasok dito sa sports center ‘yung mga bata at makapaglaro. ‘Yun ang bubuuin natin (I don't want to focus on a single activity or event. I want to have a sports program every day, every week, every month, so that the kids would come to the sports center and play. That's what I want),” he said.

The Marikina Sports Center, also known as the Marikina Sports Park, was built in 1969 under the administration of former Rizal governor Isidro Rodriguez Sr.

Formerly known as the Rodriguez Sports Center, it was bought from the provincial government of Rizal in 1995 for only PHP11 million and was renamed into the Marikina Sports Park.

Sayang ang facility na ito dahil napabayaan ng mga nakaraang administrasyon. Napaka-ideal ng setup ng imprastrakturang ito. Nagbago ito dahil nawalan ng pagpapahalaga ang mga dating nakaupo. Iyong ipinundar ni dating governor Isidro Rodriguez ay nawala (The facility has been neglected by the past administrations. The setup of this infrastructure is ideal but it changed because the past mayors did not value it. The investment of former governor Isidro Rodriguez had disappeared),” he told the trainers and coordinators of DepEd.

The sports center has an Olympic-sized track oval and swimming pool and has facilities for tennis, football, badminton, basketball, table tennis, athletics, and taekwondo, among others. Its two grandstands have a total seating capacity of 15,000 people.

Teodoro noted that the sports program will cover all public schools in the city but he is also eyeing to include private schools.

He assured that the city’s sports program will not be smeared with politics, saying that the program aims to train Marikina’s athletes and promote sportsmanship among the youth. (PNA)