DAVAO CITY - Consultative meetings and coaches' education in Digos City and Panabo City in February will kick off the programs of the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Sports Institute (PSC-PSI) in Mindanao this year.
 
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey yesterday said that details of the two separate consultative meetings are currently being finalized in Manila.
 
"Ginaplastar pa, ginaklaro ang mga programa sa grassroots nga himuon sa Mindanao pero mag-full blast na ta February and March. Dili man gud dali magpadagan sa mga programa, daghan na proseso ang agian labaw na kung dunay mga purchase requirement (We are ironing out the grassroots programs that will be conducted in Mindanao but we will go full blast by February and March. It's not easy to prepare and run programs as it will have to go through a long process especially when purchasing is required)," Maxey said, assuring that plans and programs for Mindanao will push through including the revival of the Mindanao Friendship Games and the Mindanao Children's Beach/Coastal Games.
 
He bared to had met with Cholo Elegino, PSI cluster head for Mindanao, and schedules and budgetary requirements of Children's Games, consultative meetings, coaches' education and Sports Mapping Action Research Talent Identification (Smart ID) testing among indigenous people (IP) children in different regions in Mindanao are also being finalized.
 
Smart ID trainers underwent a training program spearheaded by the Sports Mapping Action Research for Talent Technical Experts and Manpower (Smart Team) last year. There are 57 trainers in Cebu City, 60 in Puerto Princesa, 60 in Vigan and 35 in Mindanao.
 
Meanwhile, coordination meetings with other local government units were held in T'boli and South Cotabato recently.
 
PSI regional coordinator Henry Dagmil said Mayor Dibu Tuan was elated that PSC-PSI reached out to them.
 
"The mayor is glad that T'boli will at last avail of the services of the PSC-PSI since they have not heard of any PSC program in their area in previous years. They are excited for the Smart ID testing that will be conducted among T'boli children 12 years old and below," Dagmil said in Ilonggo.
 
The Olympian trackster said the T'boli mayor already sent a formal request for the conduct of the Smart ID testing and is just waiting for PSC's feedback on the final dates of the activity that will target close to 300 children.
 
He hopes that the testing will be done before the regional meet slated February 17 to 22 in Koronadal City.
 
Dagmil added that South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes, in a separate meeting, welcomed the idea of hosting a provincial consultative meeting and grassroots coaching education.
 
Fuentes, according to him, is also interested to making the province a PSI regional training center since it has a standard sports complex that can accommodate it.
 
"The province spends millions to maintain the sports complex in Koronadal City," he said.
It can be recalled that South Cotabato athletes brought the Socsksargen region to its fifth overall finish in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa.

Aside from producing Olympians, the province also has Asian champions and SEA Games medalists in different sports.