October 7, 2022

The pressure is on for the Benguet Dancesports Team as its members prepare for the upcoming Batang Pinoy competition set Dec. 4 to 10 in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Coach Charibelle Pingawan said she has already endorsed athletes who will represent Benguet in the first in-person Batang Pinoy event since 2020. 

She said there was no screening conducted in the province, since it does not have many dancesports athletes for the under 15 years old competition.

Pingawan, who also assists dancesports groups in Baguio City, said the city has a pool of athletes that’s why they conducted the eliminations for the event on Aug. 19.

Under Batang Pinoy rules, one athlete is allowed per local government unit per category with exemption to dan-cesports where eight participants – four boys and four girls are allowed per LGU. 

Pingawan currently has 13 trainees from the Benguet Dancesport Team aged six to 21 years old while she coaches eight athletes aged seven to 20 years old in Baguio City.

The LGUs of Benguet and Baguio City have been supportive in the competitions of the dancesports athletes even during the pandemic.

She is hopeful that other LGUs in the Cordillera would continue assisting local athletes.

Baguio City has already produced Southeast Asian Games gold medalists in Stephanie Sabalo and Michael Marquez when the duo bagged two gold medals and a silver medal in dancesports at the 30th SEAG. 

Registration is ongoing for the participants of the Batang Pinoy with the forms available at the Batang Pinoy (Philippine Sports Commission Grassroots Program) Facebook account.

The Batang Pinoy games features athletes from various LGUs, 15 years old and below. It serves as training ground for young athletes for local and international events and eventually becoming national athletes under PSC. – Ofelia C. Empian