CITY OF ILAGAN, Philippines– This city may soon be called the Sports Tourism Center of Northern Philippines after it will have hosted twin international athletic events, the 12th SEA Youth Athletic Championship and the 2017 Ayala Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships, March 26 – April 2.
Sangguniang Panlungsod Member Jayve Diaz, Sports Committee chair of the council and spokesman of the local chief executive, said the two sports events is a benchmark for future international sports events after the city hosted a series of national and regional sports events.
A total of P25 million from the local fund has been utilized to assure success of the event, now considered as historical in Cagayan Valley region.
In November last year, the city and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) inked an agreement in November last year for the staging of the twin events.
“We see this event as significant not only to our city. We would like to offer it to the rest of Northern Luzon,” Diaz told local media in a press briefing on Sunday, March 26.
The city has played host to various sports event in the past including the Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association (CAVRAA), Palarong Pambansa and other individual sports events which have prepared local officials to host this year’s twin sports events.
The Ilagan City Sports Complex, the old Paguirigan Sports Stadium, have been spruced up after typhoon Lawin partially damaged the facilities October last year. Ricky Laggui, the event’s focal person said a big chunk of the approved budget for the event has been used for the rehabilitation of the venue.
Antonio Montereal Jr, co-chair to Diaz He said security has been heightened to protect the close to a thousand athletes from 12 countries from all over the South East Asean region including the Philippines who arrived Friday to a rousing welcome from Isabelinos led by the city officials.
Diaz said investors have been coming in as a result of the various activities and the event will likely attract more.
Nearly most of the athletes outside the country has arrived including those fro Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia, Sabah Malaysia, Sabah Kinabalu, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Timor Este.
“The SEA youth games features 36 athletic events on March 27-28 while the Ayala events will be competition March 30- April 2, “ Paul Bacungan, Ilagan City Information Officer said. -Northernforum.net