CEREMONIAL RUN. Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib (3rd from right) leads the ceremonial run marking the launch of the PHP34.8 million newly-rehabilitated Track Oval of the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex on Monday (Oct. 20, 2022). The sports facility was shut down before the pandemic due to a much-needed repair. (Photo courtesy of DavNor PIO)

DAVAO CITY – After much-needed rehabilitation works, the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex (DNSTC) has reopened its running track oval to the public, an official said Tuesday.

In a statement, Governor Edwin Jubahib said the PHP34.85 million newly-rehabilitated rubberized track and field oval with materials imported from Switzerland was inaugurated by provincial and local officials on Monday.

“We pushed for the rehabilitation of the oval for the revival of the grassroots sports program of the province, while we are pursuing to [again] host big-ticket regional and national sports competitions,” Jubahib added.

In 2015, DNSTC was the main hub for the Palarong Pambansa events, and the Philippines Football League outfit Davao Aguilas Football Club has made the facility its home field since it was founded in 2017.

The Provincial Sports and Youth Development Office (PSYDO) temporarily closed the track to the public when breaks and cracks appeared even before the start of the pandemic, posing risks to the athletes and joggers.

Plans for the renovation of the facility were put on hold during the crisis, but the track remained closed even when other amenities of the sports complex were reopened to the public early this year.

Jubahib said the current rehabilitated rubberized track will provide a safe and convenient option for running.

“A rubberized track prevents foot contusion and enhances running performance,” he said, as he reiterated that the use of the track oval remains free to the public.

Beverly Villarino, president of the Davao del Norte Track and Field Association, thanked the provincial government for pursuing the project.

“The province is again back on track in pursuing its dream of producing athletes that can compete in national and even international arena,” she said. (PNA)