Legazpi City will be hosting the First Ibalong Age Group Swimming Championship today at the 50-meter pool of the Albay Sports Complex in Travesia, Guinobatan, Albay.
The swimming competition is one of the featured events in the city’s annual celebration of Ibalong Festival this month of August. About 25 swim clubs/teams and 200 swimmers from Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City, Navotas City, Taguig City, Paranaque City, Muntinlupa City, Isabela, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena, Quezon, Aklan and Bicol Region are expected to join the event. The swimming competition will also be the basis of selection for future international competitions and the Grand National Championship on December 2013.
As a special opening highlight of the competition, a Unity Swim for a Cause will also be featured with the theme: “Langoy Para sa Kalusugan, Kaligtasan at Kapayapaan”.
About 15 agencies from the public and private sector and 100 swimmers composed of doctors, lawyers, peace and safety officers, coaches, parents, teachers, and students are expected to join. The Unity Swim hopes to promote the advocacy for a healthy lifestyle and discipline among the youth and adults, develop life-saving skills for personal safety and improve the general well-being of the community.
Other participating schools from Legazpi City and Albay includes the Aquinas University, Bicol University, Divine Word College, St. Agnes Academy, AMEC-BCCM, Sunshine International School, Reyes Computer School, Bigaa Elementary School, Albay Central and Guinobatan East Central.
This national swimming event is organized by the Philippine Swimming League through its President, former International Swimmer Susan Papa, in cooperation with the Ibalong Magayon Aquagliders Swim Club of Legazpi City as the host club.
“We are really excited about this important swimming event in Bicol. This is a clear manifestation that the regional network of the Philippine Swimming League with the help of its Regional Director, Atty. Ma. Teresa Mahiwo, are getting stronger with the show of partnership and cooperation among all sectors in the community to promote swimming not only as a sport but also as a healthy lifestyle for all and finally help the state”, according to Papa.
The two-in-one swimming event has the support of the City Government of Legazpi through Mayor Noel Rosal. The Provincial Government of Albay through Governor Joey Salceda provided the venue for the swimming event. Various schools in Bicol have likewise thrown their full support. Commodore Dante Jimenez, President of the Mariners Polytechnic Foundation, whose swimming team will join the competition and Unity Swim, has offered the school’s dormitory for the free accommodation of participating swimmers.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA Legazpi has likewise offered its dormitory for free. The University of Saint Anthony in Iriga City, through its President, Atty. Santiago D. Ortega Jr., will also send his swimming team and has graciously sponsored the Unity Swim. Dr. Cesar Medina, Superintendent of the Department of Education Legazpi City Division, will provide the technical services.