Manila, Philippines, 25 November 2013 – The MILO Little Olympics, the most recognized and longest-running interschool youth sports competition in the country, will hold the culminating games of its 26th season on November 29 to December 1. About 1,600 of the nation’s finest young athletes will gather at the Cebu City Sports Center and go head to head for the overall title. Earlier this year, about 22,000 little champions from across the Philippines competed in the four regional games, winning the league the respect and esteem accorded to Palarong Pambansa and other major sporting events in the country.
Last season, Team Visayas failed to secure its fourth consecutive victory against rival NCR, who took home the trophy for the first time as the Overall Champion. MILO Little Olympics Visayas organizer Ricky Ballesteros said that he is confident that the three-time national overall titlist will perform spectacularly against competing teams from NCR, Luzon, and Mindanao. “Not only are we driven by skilled teams this year, we also have a very strong, personal motivation to win. Recent events have caused many of our friends and families great distress. The MILO Little Olympics gives us–especially the students–something to hope and to fight for,” said Ballesteros.
In light of the recent natural calamities that swept through Central Philippines, MILO and local organizers surveyed all participating schools in the region and confirmed that none of the students were hurt. “All athletes have been accounted for even those in severely affected areas such as Bohol and the Western Visayan Region. We are very relieved and grateful for their safety,” added Ballesteros.
Organizers also heightened security measures to ensure that the sports venues are fit for the competition. Each venue will have two security teams who are trained extensively on emergency response, as well as liaison officers to ensure that communication guidelines are carried out. All tournament managers and safety officers have also been trained and briefed accordingly.
“The key to our success will always be preparation. We have inspected all venues and developed an alternative plan for all possible scenarios like typhoons, earthquakes and security threats,” said Robbie de Vera, MILO Sports Executive. “In consideration for all those affected by the calamities, we have toned down the celebration as a sign of respect and solemnity.”
For over two decades, the MILO Little Olympics has contributed tremendously to the discovery and progress of local talent by helping the youth gain confidence, practice teamwork and imbibe values that stay with them for life. This season marks two firsts for the competition, with Baguio City serving home to the Luzon regional leg, and with the addition of Filipino favorite basketball to its roster of sporting events.
With the invaluable support of the Department of Education, local government units (LGUs), the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee, the MILO Little Olympics National Finals will hold championship games for a variety of sports events including Athletics, Badminton, Chess, Football, Gymnastics, lawn Tennis, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tae Kwon Do, Volleyball, Sipa or Sepak Takraw and Scrabble, on November 29 to December 1 in host city Cebu.
For more information, please log on to the MILO website (www.milo,com.ph) and follow MILO on twitter (@MiloPH).