Sports enthusiasts eagerly await the upcoming Cebu International Sports Fest and Expo 2012. This event will take place on May 17 to May 20, 2012, at the grounds of the South Road Properties (SRP) and other areas in Cebu City.
This major event has three components: (1) an expo that taps suppliers to set up booths that showcase sports apparel and equipment; (2) a sports symposium for coaches that features resource persons carefully chosen by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC); and (3) the different sports competitions.
The joint effort of the government and private institutions aims to promote sports and its benefits to the general public. Now on its third year, the Cebu Sports Fest is gradually becoming one of the biggest sporting festivals not just in the country but in Asia as well.
The long-term goal of this festival is for Cebu to become one of the must-visit sports destinations in the world. The Queen City of the South indeed has a great sporting atmosphere and accessibility because of the presence of an international airport. Aside from these, Cebu is a highly urbanized venue with hospitable, English-speaking locals. Because of the positive response this event gets, its economic impact outweighs the investment. On its first year, the festival only featured 10 sports, while on its second year, there were already 25 sports. The number continues to grow as more sports groups are attracted to join this prestigious event.
The featured sports events this year are soccer, rugby, beach volleyball, baseball, softball, flag football, boxing, taekwondo, mixed martial arts, and ultimate Frisbee. It will also include extreme sports like motocross, wakeboard and wakeskate, kite surfing, rock climbing, airsoft, and parkour. Those who have perfected coordination, balance and timing will be happy to know that Capoiera, Yoga, Zumba, dancesport, and fire poi are included in the affair. There will also be a sundown marathon for running enthusiasts. Electronic sports, popularly known as e-sports, are also part of the official sports line-up of the festival. Among others, StarCraft II and Defense of the Ancients are currently on the list of official participating games.
Another highlight of the Cebu Sports Fest is the championship events of the three-month Grassroots Summer Program of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC). Since its inception, over 10,000 children in various barangays have received free lessons in different sports such as chess, basketball, volleyball, swimming, arnis, table tennis, dancesport, gymnastics, athletics, contact sports, and batted sports. The program has also created the culture of volunteerism among Cebuano coaches and athletes as they take time to share their expertise with the youth. This year, the CCSC expects around 20,000 elementary and high school participants for the trainings held at the CCSC’s sports institute and the newly repaired Cebu City Sports Center.
The sports symposium for coaches will be on May 18, 2012, tackling sports psychology, sports medicine and sports nutrition, which will be held at the Sinulog Hall of the Rizal Library.
Unfortunately, this year’s budget has been lowered to Php600,000, compared to last year’s Php2,000,000. However, the limited budget does not discourage the CCSC to make this festival a success. In fact, the organizers remain positive as they try to find the means to fill the deficit. After all, this challenge just shows how resourceful and driven Cebuanos are. Budget will not be a hindrance in making this sporting event not just successful, but even better than the previous ones.
CCSC executive director Brando Velasquez advised tournament directors to find effective means to come up with the budget like having fund-raising activities or looking for private sponsors. The commission will concentrate on the sporting events that really need the financial aid. On the other hand, groups who have the financial means, like last year’s water sports (wakeboarding and kite surfing), are encouraged to still participate at their own expense.
The CCSC is an office of the Cebu City government that aims to “encourage participation in sports to develop globally competitive athletes from the Cebuano community through sustainable grassroots and value development programs, scientific training and necessary logistics.” They redirect the energies and interests of the Cebu City youth through sports so they will avoid drugs, crimes and being idle. They teach the young that despite the absence of opportunities in life, there are ways to have a transformational experience. They can always make a difference in their lives.
For more information on the 3rd Cebu International Sports Fest and Expo, visit its official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cebusportsfest. You may also contact the CCSC at 255-6985. Their office is located at the 3rd floor, Legislative Building, Cebu City Hall, Magallanes Street, Cebu City.
A) Cebu South Road Properties
B) Cebu City Hall, Magallanes Street, Cebu City