NEW BALON DAGUPAN ATHLETES – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Dagupan City Sports Commission Vice Chair Finnela Sim and DCSC sports commissioners join graduates of the 2019 DCSC Summer Sports Clinic. A total of 734 athletes participated and completed their respective training programs during the free three-week clinic. (CIO photo by Arriz Fruelda)

DAGUPAN CITY – More than 700 young Dagupeños completed the free three-week summer sports clinic held under the auspices of  the  Dagupan City Sports Commission from May 6 to 30.

All trainees were awarded their certificates during the graduation ceremonies held at the Dagupan People’s Astrodome on May 31.

Present during the ceremony were Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, officials from DCSC, Dagupan City Athletics Association (DCCA), sports commissioners, coaches and parents.

The graduates from dance sports, karatedo, arnis, boxing, gymnastics, wushu, badminton and taekwondo programs proudly displayed their newly-acquired skills through presentation numbers held during the event.

Mayor Fernandez, in her message, encouraged all the aspiring athletes to continue with their training beyond the summer sports clinic.

“I hope you bring with you all the lessons you’ve learned and the skills that you’ve developed. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you, to give you the training you needed through this program,” said Fernandez.

Meanwhile, Princess Camille Salayog, a grade-3 student of St. John Catholic School shared a letter of appreciation she wrote for the mayor, saying: “Thank you for loving Dagupan and for giving us the summer sports clinic. You will always be the mayor in my heart.”

Salayog completed the swimming program during her participation in this year’s clinic.

Under the city’s Building the Future: Developing Our Excellence in Sports (BTF: DOES IT) program, the summer sports clinic was expanded  from just giving swimming lessons in 2015 to  fifteen other  sports events this year.

These include Arnis, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Chess, Dance Sports, Football, Gymnastics, Karatedo, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Wushu and Wrestling.

DCSC Vice Chair Finnela T. Sim disclosed that swimming lessons were still the most availed of during the yearly clinic, with more than half of the total number of youth trained since 2015 taking up swimming lessons.

This year’s clinic also featured seasoned Balon Dagupan athletes such as Karatedo medal haulers John Enrico Vasquez, Jayson Ram Macaalay, Mark Andrew Manantan and Matthew Manantan also training aspiring athletes.

“Our sports clinic not only trains our youth, but also gives them an outlet that keeps them away from the influence of vices. Some of our athletes even earned scholarships for their skills, so this is a really good program. Sana ituloy ng mga kabataan ‘yung naibahagi ni Mayor Belen sa kanila dahil para rin ito sa ikakaganda ng kanilang kinabukasan,” added Sim.  (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)