By Tonette Marticio
CALBAYOG CITY – Delegates from 13 different school divisions in the region have stepped up in their preparations in order to emerge victorious in the annual Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association’s (EVRAA) Meet held in this city.
During the opening ceremony last February 4, Sunday, led by Department of Education Assistant Secretary Atty. Revsee Escobero, together with Regional Director Ramir Uytico, the official expressed amazement over the
delegates’ lively performances despite the heavy downpour.
5,618 athletes will be competing for 22 sporting events, which started on Monday, February 5, 2018 to Saturday, February 10, 2018.
Last year’s champion, the Leyte Division, expects a grand slam win with 53 Leyte Sports Academy scholars competing in 18 athletic events such as wrestling, swimming, boxing, archery and Wushu. The provincial government has alloted P3.5-million in financial assistance for their training and preparations.
Likewise, last year’s second place, the Ormoc City Division is also a team to beat being this year’s biggest delegation with 505 athletes, 194 in elementary and 311 high school. The city government has expressed its support by inviting national and international award-winning athletes to train their players through multiple cycles of sports clinics.
Mayor Richard and Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez personally graced the event to show their support to the athletes. Gomez was recognized by Asec. Escobedo as one of the best athletes in the country as well as other Ormocanons such as Rey Evangelista and Johnriel Casimero.
On the other hand, Congressman Rogelio Espina shared that athletes from Biliran Provincial Athletic Association who will win medals will be given cash incentives as a means to motivate their players.
“We want our athletes to perform better and get a better ranking this year,” Espina said.
Acting Governor Marcelo Picardal also led the Eastern Samar delegation with 475 athletes who will be competing in all events. He personally visited the athletes during their trainings.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ronald Aquino who heads the host city division expressed his gratitude for the huge attendance.
He disclosed that the city government, with the assistance of Samar’s 1st district office, has constructed at least 10 permanent toilets in the billeting schools, which may be used by the students after the event.
Moreover, in line with their program to promote tourism in the city, delegates and spectators will be treated to free rides to and from the venues.
They have commissioned several motorcabs locally known as “timbol” to ferry people who want to watch the games.
Champions in this year’s EVRAA will compete in the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on April 16-20, 2018. It was also announced during the event that Ormoc will again be hosting EVRAA 2019 after 3 years.