The city will host the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) in its bubble training in July in preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong reported this during the management committee meeting on May 11 that was also attended by sports officials led by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner and basketball icon Ramon Fernandez, Patafa Training Director Renato Unso, and Head Coach Sean Guevarra.
Unso said Baguio was chosen as a venue for the training bubble because of its accessibility, adequate sports facilities, and its temperate climate is similar to that of Hanoi in November.
“Baguio’s relatively cool climate will help acclimatize our athletes to the weather in Hanoi, Vietnam when competitions start in November,” he said.
The Philippine delegation will also have its medical team that will closely coordinate with local health authorities to make sure the athletes are taken care of.
City Sports Coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said around 40 athletes will troop to the city for the training bubble together with a still unspecified number of coaches and trainers.
He said this year’s Southeast Asian Games will feature 40 sports disciplines, mainly those played at the Olympic Games.
Gonzales toured the sports officials at the Teachers’ Camp and Athletic Bowl, the main facilities that will be used during the estimated four-month training.
Magalong said it is an honor for Baguio to host the training bubble. He offered other assistance the city government may possibly extend to the athletes while training in the city.
Fernandez expressed PSC’s gratitude to the city government for agreeing to host the training bubble.
He also assured they will strictly adhere to health and safety protocols and other regulations. – Gaby B. Keith