DAGUPAN CITY – The Balon Dagupan athletes are all set to defend their 2018 championship title in the coming Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet which will reel off from March 6 to 11 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Before the competition, the Dagupan athletes underwent a month-long preparation of high-intensity training in their respective events.

Dagupan City Sports Commission  Vice Chair Finnela T. Sim said the athletes prepared well to give their best in the coming R1AA Meet as current defending champions.

This year, Dagupan City is sending 611 strong delegates to the 2019 R1AA Meet. Of the number, a total of  474  are all seeing action in the Meet.

The city government, through Mayor Belen T. Fernandez’s initiative, again extended its support to the delegation by providing the athletes and coaches their sports equipment and competition allowance.

Last February 22, all athletes received rubber shoes, uniforms, and other sports equipment at Bonuan Boquig Elementary School.

The athletes received the proper gear and equipment which will help them in their respective sports competitions like rubber shoes for football and futsal, swimsuits and swim caps for swimming, electronic armors for taekwondo, and many others.

Meanwhile, the athletes and their coaches  received their training and competition allowance of P3,500 each from the city government at the People’s Astrodome on February 27.

Both distributions were facilitated by the Dagupan City Sports Commission and Department of Education – Schools Division Office Dagupan.

In the same occasion, the DCSC also partnered with the City Health Office in providing a free measles vaccination for the city’s athletes as a precautionary measure against the disease.

Ms. Sim added that the city is joining two new sports events for this year’s R1AA Meet, namely boxing and wrestling.

“We have a very good training for boxing and wrestling. I believe we can get great results especially with our performance now,” said Sim.

The other events which the Balon Dagupan athletes are competing are in arnis, archery, athletics, badminton, billiards, baseball, basketball, chess, football, futsal, gymnastics, sepak takraw, pencak silat, tennis, swimming, taekwondo, table tennis, volleyball, softball, and wushu.

Students from SPED will also join the games in special sports such as athletics, swimming, and bocce. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)