Local athletes join para games

In preparation for the January 2020 ASEAN paralympic games hosted by the Philippines, twenty-two Baguio para athletes participate in the 7th Philippine Sports Commission PhilSpada National Paralympics games on May 23 to 31 at the Bulacan Sports Complex, Malolos, Bulacan.

Aged 16 to 22, 14 male and 8 female para athletes compete in athletics, archery, bowling, swimming, and badminton.

Intellectually-challenged, para athlete Judy Ann Addongan competes in swimming, while fellow athletes Erol Christian Gaciles, Nathaniel Guay, Hans Joy II Mangaong, Jackson Limayog. Lowegi Soriano and Ana Marie Velasco participate in athletics.

Orthopedically–challenged athletes Agustina Bantiloc, Elizabeth Bayla, William Cablog, Estela Florendo; Michael Gorospe ; Giovanni Ola, and Daniel Padilan show their prowess in archery, while fellow athletes Allan Campos, Victoria Elio, Agustin Kitan, John Joseph Magpantay, Jaime Mangiga and Romeo Tanawa compete in athletics. Carlos Gamboc, Jr, another orthopedically-challenged athlete plays badminton while hearing impaired/challenged Jennifer Fernandez is in the field of bowling.

Coaches for the PhilSpada games are Special Education (SPED) Baguio teachers Reynante Olat for athletics, Arlene Cumpay for athletics and swimming while John Hongitan of Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) coaches archery events.

Sports Division head Gaudencio Gonzales said that athletes have big chances of winning golds and silvers, specially the “veterans” who have been competing in para games, for many years.

According to City Persons with Disability Affairs Officer (PDAO) Samuel Aquino, some of the para athletes competed in the Benguet para games, Wangal, La Trinidad, last May 05-11, with coaches Reynante Olat and Arlene Cumpay. The games were done to increase awareness of PWD sports, prepare and pool resources for the upcoming PhilSpada and ASEAN events.

It will be an excellent opportunity for persons with disabilities all over the country to exhibit their sporting ability on a national level with the hope of making it to the national paralympic roster and a chance to quality and participate in the upcoming 2020 ASEAN Para games, DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said in his letter as he informed local executives last week.

All local chief executives and other agencies were encouraged to support the participation of persons with disabilities.-juliegfianza