TACLOBAN CITY – Scholar-athletes from the government-run Leyte Sports Academy exceeded expectations when they surpassed their medal tally from last year and finished third overall in the recently-concluded Batang Pinoy Visayas Qualifying leg held in Romblon. According to Ruben Tamayo, LSA executive director, the athletes earned medals in athletics, wrestling, boxing, badminton and taekwondo. It was in athletics that the LSA delegation earned the most number of medals with 10 golds, 7 silvers and 5 bronzes, declaring the team overall champion both for the boys and girls division.

Meanwhile for taekwondo, a relatively new sports offered by LSA, produced 1 gold, 3 silvers and 4 bronzes. The LSA delegation joined the Visayas qualifiers without their swimming team as they were sent to Taiwan for a swimming competition. Swimming is among the medal haulers for the LSA team in previous Batang Pinoy events.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said he is happy with the recent wins of the LSA athletes. He said that indeed with proper training and support, budding athletes from the province can successfully compete with their counterparts from around the country and in other parts of the world. The winning athletes will advance to the national leg of the Batang Pinoy in Cebu this November.

Batang Pinoy is an integral part of the national policy and program for sports development designed to effectively address the need for a comprehensive grassroots sports program centered on values formation inherent in the practice of sports and play. It also seeks to inculcate in the young minds of Filipino athletes the value of patriotism, nationalism, self-discipline, respect for law and order, hard work, teamwork, camaraderie, sportsmanship and fair play – eliminating the child’s chances of becoming a juvenile delinquent. Finally, the program serves as recruitment base for sports specialization, including training for other high level leagues, national tournaments, and international competitions.

The staging of the 2015 Batang Pinoy is spearheaded by the PSC led by Commissioner Jose Luis Gomez, in partnership with the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Education, and the respective Local Government Units. (AHLETTE C.REYES)