Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. speaks of the value of sports in development before the athletes during the launching of Iloilo’s 1st Developmental League Program. (Photos by Erly Garcia)
ILOILO – In search for new talents in priority sports, the provincial government launches the 1st Developmental League Program which will provide meaningful sports and physical fitness activities to the youth whole-year round.
“For the first time, this is the sports program Iloilo created that has direction,” said Dr. Raymundo Lapating, executive director of the Center for Sports and Physical Fitness in an interview with the press
He added that the program is focused on grassroot sports to cultivate the culture of excellence and discover new talents in athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, football, lawn tennis, table tennis, volleyball, softball, swimming, taekwondo and arnis.
It will start from the creation of barangay or municipal sports league, formation of training teams by municipality, inter-training center competitions until it reaches the Provincial Summer Developmental League.
Lapating emphasized that the program will give priority to the welfare of athletes, who can either be in school or out of school youth, and will strictly be based on the child’s growth and development.
“The basic philosophy and policy behind this is – athletes first, winning second. Coaches and key officials will be held responsible for the behavior and safety of the athletes,” he said.
He also added that they inverted the pyramid when they implemented a policy of giving 80% of the incentives to the athletes and only 20% goes to the officiating officials.
Fifteen municipalities are currently involved in the program with more or less 5,000 volunteer sports officials.
This is supported by the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Sports Commission, and private corporations.