BAGUIO CITY – Dozens of arnis athletes who will be competing in next year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) to be hosted by the country will be undergoing a 6-month rigid training in Baguio City, an official of the Philippine Eskrima, Kali and Arnis Association of the Philippines (PEKAP) said here recently.
PEKAP president and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said that he was impressed with the hosting of Baguio City on the recently-concluded Batang Pinoy national championships that is why he will recommend that arnis athletes who will be chosen to represent the country in the biennial meet will undergo the 6-month rigid high altitude training in the country’s Summer Capital.
Senator Zubiri also expressed satisfaction on the performance of local arnis athletes who dominated the arnis competitions that is why some of the country’s athletes who will be representing the country in next year’s SEAG might come from the city.
“We congratulate Baguio City and Benguet Province for their successful hosting of this year’s Batang Pinoy national championships because despite the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Ompong, the scheduled games were completed as scheduled which shows the resiliency of the local officials and residents in recovering from the wrath of a natural disaster,” Senator Zubiri stressed.
The senator served as the guest of honor and speaker during the closing ceremonies of the Batang Pinoy national championships held at the Baguio Athletic Bowl even at the height of a heavy downpour.
Senator Zubiri was in the city to officiate and award the winners of the arnis competition being the president of the national sports association of arnis.
According to him, arnis sports officials were also impressed with the performance of Baguio and Benguet-based arnis athletes who excelled in the competitions allowing the two local government units to dominate one of the combative sports that was part of the 28 sports events played in Baguio and Benguet during the week-long sports activities.
He urged local arnis enthusiasts to continue undergoing trainings because there will come a time they will also shine in the different categories of the arnis competition in the local, regional, national and international tournaments.
Zubiri asserted that the PEKAP will continue organizing numerous competitions around the country to help enhance the skills of arnis athletes who will represent the country in future competitions because arnis is one of the combative sports identified by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) that will be a potential medal hauler for the country in upcoming international games.
Zubiri is awaiting the clearance from the POC on whether or not to allow arnis athletes who will be representing the country in next year’s SEAG to conduct their 6-month rigid high altitude training in Baguio City considering the availability of sports facilities in the city for such kind of game.
By Dexter A. See