BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government is upgrading its sports facilities and stepping up training for athletes as part of the priorities of the administration of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said on Monday the Panaad Park and Stadium complex, located in Barangay Mansilingan here, is being developed by the province as a primary training area for Negrense athletes.
“If we cannot use it for Palarong Pambansa, we can use it for the provincial meets and the regional meets,” he told reporters after Negros Occidental lost its bid to host the Palarong Pambansa in 2024.
Cebu City was announced as next year’s host during the closing rites of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa held in Marikina City over the weekend.
“Once we have established our athletes’ village, we will commence the rigid training programs for the sports that we feel have a good chance for medals in provincial, regional, national, and even international competitions,” Diaz said.
“We will continue to upgrade and develop the infrastructure of Panaad. Not only that, we will develop scientific methods in training athletes in sports that will rake in more medals for the country and for the province,” he added.
Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, is part of the Western Visayas Region, which placed second overall behind the National Capital Region (NCR) in the just-concluded multi-sports competition organized by the Department of Education (DepEd).
During the 2023 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet held in Aklan, Negros Occidental settled for second place behind Iloilo province, a result that Lacson admitted did not make him happy.
“The pandemic set us back. We are now gearing towards a more competitive Negros Occidental team in all the major sports activities we can compete in,” Diaz said. (PNA)