THE 2022 Batang Pinoy National Championships presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) finally kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 17 with no less than Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio in attendance.
Both Paalam, who earned the silver medal in the men’s flyweight division, and Petecio, who became the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal in the boxing, will spice up the opening ceremony at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
The two boxing champions are proud products of the PSC’s grassroots programs.
Joining them are Olympic judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Chloe Isleta and Mary Allin Aldeguer.
“The Batang Pinoy program has already produced numerous champions in various sports since it started in 1999. I am sure that the stories of our bemedaled athletes will inspire our young athletes who will be competing in Ilocos Sur, to reach the height they have achieved,” said PSC Chairman Noli Eala in a press statement.
Eala is expected to formally open the Batang Pinoy, which is one of the PSC’s centerpiece programs for grassroots sports.
He said the event is aimed to heed the call of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to bring sports closer to Filipino people.
Other noted personalities expected to attend the opening rites are host Province of Ilocos Sur Governor Jeremias “Jerry” Singson, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and officials of various National Sports Association (NSA).
Around 6,000 participants from over 140 local government units are expected to compete in nine face-to-face sports namely; archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, table tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and obstacle course racing as demo sport.
Games begin on opening day for archery at San Ildefonso Central School, badminton at the Ilocos Sur Badminton Center, chess at Baluarte Function Hall, swimming at Quirino Stadium, and table tennis at San Vicente Gymnasium.
Eight other sports — arnis, dancesport, judo, karate, muay, pencak silat, taekwondo, and wushu — will be virtually held via the PSC Facebook and YouTube platforms.
Supporting the competition are Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Interior and Local Government Unit (DILG). Department of Education (DepED), MILO Philippines, Pocari Sweat Otsuka Solar Philippines,Universal Robina Corporation, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Globe Telecom, and Beautéderm.