Marikina City and the Department of Education National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR) will play host to the 6th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Schools Games this year.
The Asean Schools Games is an annual sports competition among student-athletes in the participating countries of Brunei Durassalam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
According to DepEd secretary Armin Luistro, who will act as honorary chairman to the games’ governing board, the competition to be held from November 29 to December 7 aims to give the youth the chance to gauge their athletic prowess as well as to promote solidarity and cultural exchanges among the participants.
Luistro said in a statement, “Competitive sports are informal learning experiences for the youth. They hone the values of precision, discipline, and fairness. So while students are showcasing their talents in sports, the Asean Schools Games also present an opportunity to gather the youth for the purpose of personal development and life skills enrichment through collective wisdom and experiences.”
Other member-agencies of the games’ governing board are the first and second districts of Marikina City, the Departments of the Interior and Local Governments, and Tourism, as well as the Philippine Sports Commission and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
A local selection committee will be formed to identify and choose the best athletes from both private and public schools as members of the Philippine delegation. Student-athletes who participated in the 2014 Palarong Pambansa last May will be prioritized in the selection.
An August 5 DepEd memorandum said that the Asean Schools Games would promote solidarity among the youth in the region through sports; provide them the chance to measure their talent in sports against their counterparts in other countries; and afford them the opportunity to interact with fellow student-athletes.
Sporting events will include: athletics, swimming, badminton, golf, sepak takraw, gymnastics, table tennis, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and wushu.
“The competitions shall be governed by their respective international rules and regulations unless otherwise amended or revised by the organizing committee with concurrence of the participating Asean countries,” the memorandum said.
The Asean Schools Games governing board is set to meet next month to organize the working committees and ensure the success of the event, focusing on the participants’ safety and on maintaining the games’ integrity.