The 2017 Mindanao Children’s Games held in Davao City from May 23 to 27, came to a successful close yesterday. It was three days of light play and fun for children 12 years old and under who participated in this event under the Sports for Peace program of the Philippine Sport Commission.

In his speech, PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez recognized the roles of education and sports in the development of a responsible citizen. He enjoined the children to “study hard so that you reach your dreams, you see new places and learn different languages. Involve yourself in sports to learn discipline and fortify your mind and bodies.” Ramirez furthers that when we allow our children to play together, without regard of religious, political and other inclinations we teach them that we are one blood, one nation. “There may be war in other countries and disorder in our own backyard, but though this we show everyone that peace reigns in Davao, in Mindanao.”

Barangay 76-A swept all sets to take the championship in girls’ volleyball. Barangay Tumugan won 1st runner up. Mohammad Ali Bernan, tournament manager of volleyball said that there were a lot of potential players on the floor but “more than the skills it is developing interest in sports that was more important.” A total of ten barangays participated in the girls’ volleyball games.

In boys’ 3-on-3 basketball, Baranggay Buhangin won top honors, beating early finalist, Barangay Hizon, 18 to 5. Baranggays Bantol, Baguio Proper and Indangan took first place in the larong pinoy events.

The closing program was a simple affair at the Almendras Recreational Center in Davao City. Folk dances from the Agro Industrial Foundation provided entertainment for the short ceremonies. Winners of the games took home cash prizes and gift bags containing snack food and school supplies. All participants received their own loot bags.

During the conduct of the games, the Davao Sports for Peace Corps Volunteers Association (DSPCVA) was also formed, giving the PSC access to talents and skills of sports practitioners, enthusiasts, coaches and athletes living within and near Davao City. Ramirez hopes to replicate this in the next editions of the Children’s Games which is expected to be held in other areas of Mindanao, VIsayas and Luzon.