PRESIDENT Marcos, the country’s No. 1 sportsman, urged the student-athletes to always do their best and “compete with excellence, fairness, and integrity.”
In a speech delivered during the formal opening ceremony of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa at the Marikina Sports Center, President Marcos lauded the student- athletes and their coaches for their dedication to sports which he described as “both inspiring and remarkable.”
“As you take part in your chosen sport, remember you are already champions, ” Marcos told the big crowd that included Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte, Philippine Sports Commissioner Matthew “Fritz” Gaston, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Anton Lagdameo, Marikina 1st District Representative Marjorie Ann Teodoro and Marikina City.Mayor Marcy Teodoro.
“Your dedication to sports is both inspiring and remarkable. You serve as exemplars of excellence, integrity, and sportsmanship by showing to your peers and your fellow Filipinos the result of your discipline, your training, your hard work, and the many sacrifices you had to make to make it here today.”
“We have faith that you will emerge victorious – not only victorious against the challenges in the playing field, in your academic work, but also in the journey of life.”
Marcos reiterated the importance of staging the Palarong Pambansa and other regional games in discovering world-class Filipino athletes.
“These kinds of events, the Palarong Pambansa, na ‘yung ating Palarong Panlalawigan pati ‘yung ating mga regional na laban, diyan po nagbubunga ang ating mga nagiging champion. Diyan po nanggagaling ‘yung mga ating – na mga sikat na Pilipino na kinikilala hindi lamang dito sa Pilipinas kung hindi sa buong mundo. Iyan po ang aming inaasahan sa inyo,” said Marcos.
“I am certain many of our participants here one day we’ll be watching in international competition as we have become a force in terms of international sports.”
Marcos also urged DepEd, the main organizer of the Palaro, to continue encouraging the youth to participate in sports so they will succeed not only in their chosen sports and academic work but in life as well.
“I urge the Department of Education to keep harnessing the talents and sportsmanship of our student-athletes. Continue to leverage your reach and resources to provide them with the support, training, and opportunities that they thrive on and on which they will succeed,” said Marcos.
Marcos added: “Also, I call upon the LGUs, our local government units, to encourage school participation in sports competitions. Let us motivate our students to engage in physical activities so they will learn the significance of discipline, resilience, in the realization of their goals.”
The country’s Chief Executive assured the government remains firm in developing the “prowess of young Filipino athletes and in championing their well-being.”
“I assure you that this government remains steadfast in developing the prowess of our young athletes and in championing their well-being. This administration believes in the transformative power of sports, not only in improving one’s strength and agility, but also in building up character and discipline,” he said.
Greater school participation in sports competitions will also motivate the student-athletes and help them build character and discipline as Filipinos, according to Marcos.
“With consistent and diligent efforts, I am confident that they will eventually bring glory to our nation not only in the field of sports, but also in other endeavors that they will choose to pursue,” he said.
One of the highlights of the opening ceremony was the lighting of the cauldron, which was led by basketball player Mark Barroca and volleyball star Bea de Leon. They were joined by the captains of the participating regional teams.
Volleyball sensation Alyssa Valdez led the Oath of Sportsmanship.