First "Ilocos Norte Youth Games" empowers young athletes, provides avenue for friendly competitions

May 28, 2017 ...

Senior Provincial Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc spearheaded a five-day sports event dubbed as 'Ilocos Norte Youth (INYo) Games,' gathering Ilocano athletes from 17 municipalities and two cities to compete in 13 different games from May 22-27 at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Stadium, Laoag City.

At its first year, the Ilocos Norte Sports and Development Council (INSDC) headed by Director Faivo Bartolome shared that a total of 2,100 young sports enthusiasts and 300 volunteers were encouraged to participate.

Thirteen games were prepared by the INSDC, including basketball, volleyball, sepak takraw, baseball, athletics, lawn tennis, table tennis, swimming, chess, and futsal.

Aside from typical games played in school athletic meets, Bartolome said that they have also included street games such as Patintero, Bawang Base, and Tug of War to promote Filipino culture among the young athletes.

Lawn Tennis Gold Medalist Ma. Juroelene Angela R. Lucas, 6th grader from Caterpillar Center for Early Learners – Laoag City and Palarong Pambansa 2016 player describes INYo Games "fun" and "more than a competition," as she have met and made friends with fellow lawn tennis players.

"Nag-mayat a makay-ayam ko dagiti padak nga ubbing a nagappo ti sabali a lugar ditoy Ilocos Norte, kasi no City athletic meet ket schools ti Laoag City laeng ti makalabanmi,"

"Ang saya na makalaro yung mga bata na galing pa sa ibang parte ng Ilocos Norte, kasi kapag City athletic meet, schools lang from Laoag City yung nakakalaban namin," she added.

In connection to this, John Carlo Viernes, 17, futsal player from Currimao considers INYo Games an extension of his usual training and as "friendly competitions," a chance to face fellow Regional Athletic Association (R1AA) teammates play for different teams.

Manotoc, through the said event, sets expectation of having more youth enter sports and eventually "represent Ilocos Norte" in larger-scale sports tilts.

He also urges the participants to not just win every game but to "remember the value of sportsmanship and teamwork," as these are the basic values of a true athlete.

The 'Ilocos Norte Youth Games' will "intensify our youth's potentials in sports," Marcos-Manotoc added, eyeing to hold the said event yearly.

Laoag City dominated INYo games with 41 gold medals, 35 silver medals, and 17 bronze medals; followed by municipalities of Currimao and Batac City, with 30 and 14 gold medals, respectively.

by Ma. Christian A. Ramos



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