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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News
COTABATO CITY, May 28, 2023 (SDN) — Taekwondo players from the 11 Bangsamoro schools division offices (SDOs) today, Sunday, treated to an action-packed spectacle some officials of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).
Watching with great interest and amusement were MBHTE officials Education Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal, Deputy Minister Haron S. Meling, and Director General for Basic Education Abdullah P. Salik, Jr.
The trio went around various venues of the sport spectacle to observe the proceedings of the games of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association (BARMMAA) . Despite a wet day because of strong rains that poured now and then, Iqbal, Meling, and Salik proceeded with their sortie, personally observing the competitions, talking to BARMMAA and SDO officials.
Early in the morning they were at the Cotabato State University (CSU) along Sinsuat Avenue, watching football match from the CSU Grandstand.
Iqbal told SDN — SciTech and Digital News the sporting competition is going on well despite the inclement weather, with some minor hitches as can be expected in such a big regional event with an estimated over 8,000 participants, including 4,738 athletes from the BARMM SDOs.
The athletes from primary and secondary levels represent Basilan, Cotabato City, Lamitan City, Lanao del Sur I and II, Maguindanao I and II, Marawi City, Sulu, Special Geographic Area (SGA), Tawi-Tawi.
Video clip of a Taekwond match by SDN:
Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are up for grabs in 22 sports, such as Archery, Arnis, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Boxing, Chess, Basketball, Billiards, Football, Futsal, Paragames, Pencak Silat, Sepak Takraw, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, and Wushu”.
From the organizers, here are some results of the sport events:
Archery — 50 meters, Girls
- 1st Place — Farhiya Karim (Basilan Division)
- 2nd Place — Shelma Janang (Basilan Division)
- 3rd Place — Nadia Hussain (Maguindanao I Division)
Archery — 50 meters, Boys
- 1st Pace — Jerome Sarsaba (Maguindanao I Division)
- 2nd Place — Julkareem Samsarani (Maguindanao I Division)
- 3rd Place — Jushua Tangunan (Lamitan Division)
Arnis — Secondary, Girls
- Likha-Anyo, Single Weapon: Gold (Lamitan), Silver (Cotabato), Bronze (Maguindanao I)
- Likha-Anyo, Double Weapon: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Tawi-Tawi), Bronze (Maguindanao I)
- Likha-Anyo, Espada Y Daga: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Maguindanao I), Bronze (Tawi-Tawi)
- Team Synchronized, Single Weapon: Gold (Maguindanao I), Silver (Cotabato), Bronze (Lamitan)
- Team Synchronized, Double Weapon: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Lamitan), Bronze (Maguindanao I)
- Team Synchronized, Espada Y Daga: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Maguindanao I), Bronze (Maguindanao II)
Arnis — Secondary, Boys:
- Likha-Anyo, Single Weapon: Gold (Lamitan), Silver (Cotabato), Bronze (Maguindanao II)
- Likha-Anyo, Double Weapon: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Lamitan), Bronze (Maguindanao I)
- Likha-Anyo, Espada Y Daga: Gold (Lamitan), Silver (Cotabato), Bronze (Lanao del Sur II)
- Team Synchronized, Single Weapon: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Lamitan), Bronze (Tawi-Tawi)
- Team Synchronized, Double Weapon: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Maguindanao I), Bronze (Lamitan)
- Team Synchronized, Espada Y Daga: Gold (Cotabato), Silver (Lamitan), Bronze (Maguindanao I)
Iqbal cited the strong support from BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, saying the MBHTE on its part will support all the athletes “so that you can bring pride to our people and homeland”.
For this year, BARMMAA Meet 2023 is focused on “Sustaining the Gains of Peace and Unity”, alluding to the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the 2018 Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which implements the former.
The Bangsamoro sporting event, its first being held in Cotabato City, the BARMM capital, has loftier goals.
“We dream that the Bangsamoro will be recognized in sports and fitness in the future arenas in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the world,” said Iqbal.
The MBHTE chief cited the strategy that South African leader Nelson Mandela used in uniting his then highly divided nation through sports, specifically rugby.
Mandela’s example, Iqbal pointed out, showed that sports “can play a vital role in promoting peace, unity, and reconciliation among people and communities. In the Bangsamoro region, sports can encourage or reinforce the values gained from the peace process or peace-building”.
“Sports fosters dialogue, understanding, cooperation, and respect among different groups, especially those affected by conflict, violence, or discrimination. Furthermore, sports can be a platform for social inclusion and empowerment. It transcends our differences and bridges our diverse backgounds. It symbolizes a universal language of determination, resilience, and the unyielding will to excell,” the MBHTE top official emphasized.
Barring any more day-long rain on Monday, May 29, the sporting competition will roll on its last and final day during which winners will be awarded their gold, silver, and bronze medals. The BARMMAA competition started on May 25 with the Parade of Athletes. (✓)