MAGUINDANAO - The week-long 2017 Palarong Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association (ARMMAA) games officially kicked offon Monday in the town of Upi in Maguindanao province,
More than 4,000 student-athletes and officials from the region’s nine school divisions attended the opening program at the Nuro Central Elementary School. This year’s Palaro holds the theme ‘Unified Bangsamoro: One Voice, One Dream, One Aspiration.’
Regional and local officials delivered their messages during the program. ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia officially declared the region-wide athletic meet open. “Bear in mind that the Palarong ARMMAA is not just about competing for gold medals and for that coveted place on the podium. Hindi lang po ito tungkol sa mga medalya,” Sec. Alamia said. “It gives you an exciting experience, the opportunity to gain new friends and to display sportsmanship that is worthy of emulation,” she explained.
The region-wide games will run untilMarch 11 with athletes both from elementary and secondary schools competing in the following sports: arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, and boxing.
Sec. Alamia emphasized that with the Palarong ARMMAA, the region’s athletes can showcase their excellence in sports. “I am confident that your experience in the sports event will help you make better students, better athletes, and better persons,” she said.
The delegates come from the ARMM’s schools divisions, specifically Maguindanao 1 and 2, Lanao Sur 1 and 2, Marawi City, Lamitan City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
Citing historical accounts of ancient Olympics in Greece, ARMM Secretary of Education Dr. John Magno said sports have evolved into unifying events that bind all peoples in the world. “In this athletic convergence, we learn the true meaning of becoming a winner,” Sec. Magno added.
The emerging champions in the Palarong ARMMAA will represent the region in the upcoming 2017 Palarong Pambansa scheduled fromApril 23 to 29in Antique with the aim of winning more medals. “This annual convergence seeks to select the fastest, the highest and the strongest,” Sec. Magno said.
In the 2016 Palarong Pambansa, the region bagged three gold medals, four silver medals, and 10 bronze medals. ARMMAA has served as the training ground for the region’s promising athletes. The siblings Ricco Jame and Cherry Mae Teraytay, both from Maguindanao 2 Division, bagged gold medals in the Taekwondo Poomsae mix group category during the national meet. They won over athletes from 17 other regions.
Ricco and Cherry, along with their respective group mates, also won bronze medals in Taekwondo Poomsae group category for secondary boys and girls. The region also earned medals in last year’s Palaro from athletics, arnis, sepak junior, volleyball, and tennis. (Bureau of Public Information)