TAFT, Eastern Samar- The lack of support from the government is one of the reasons why skimboarding is still considered as an underground sporting activity. This was the lament of international skimboarding champion Roderick “Manoy” Bazar who is from Borongan City. Bazar recalls that since skimboarding was introduced in the country, it was only the former municipal mayor of Tanauan, Leyte, Roque Tiu, who was very supportive to the event that makes the town now being dubbed as the skimboarding capital of the country.
“After he died, support from the LGU for the annual competition was minimal until supertyphoon Yolanda came and it was not revived,” he said. The recent national skimboarding competitions held at the Dangkalan Beach Resort, this town, became the venue for skimmers from the region to see and compete against each other. “We have great potential to the sports but our athletes need support,” Bazar said. Aside from Bazar, there are also skimboarding champions from the town of Tanauan. This is why Leonardo Balmes, manager of the Dangkalan Beach Resort, said that he tapped the support from the private sector in organizing the 1st national skimboarding in Taft.
Balmes said that organizing an event that is supported by private a sector can be sustained. However, they still need help from LGU and other agencies for promotion purposes. The first national skimboarding competition in Taft was supported by the Department of Tourism regional office which is promoting sports tourism. Balmes added that having a national skimboarding competition in Taft is a way of not only promoting their place for tourism but also to introduce the sport to the locals.
Football is the most popular sport in Taft among youth aside from basketball.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)