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General Santos team named overall champion in 2023 SRAA Meet

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PIA) -- The General Santos young athletes have shown extraordinary team efforts as they clawed all the way to win the overall championship in the newly concluded 2023 Soccsksargen Regional Athletic Association (SRAA) Meet held in Kidapawan City.

On Saturday, City Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao could not contain her joy and excitement as she congratulated the city contingent, whose players were mainly comprised of elementary and secondary school pupils, for their big win.

Pacquiao personally welcomed the whole delegation back home at the Oval Gymnasium Covered Court where she received them and handed out cash incentives to the winning athletes as token of appreciation, fulfilling then a promise she made earlier.

“Pasalamat ko sa tanan tanan nga naningkamot hilabi na gyud sa atong mga kabataan. Congratulations sa inyohang tanan, ato gyud nga gipakita nga tinuod gyud nga ang General Santos Home of the Champions...” she told Gensan delegates, officials, and other people attending the welcome ceremony. 

(I am thankful to all who gave their best shot, especially our young players. Congratulations to all of you. Once again, we have shown and proven that General Santos is indeed the home of the champions.)

Aside from the athletes, she also expressed her appreciation and well-wishes to all coaches, other sports officials, including the families of athletes and DepEd Gensan for their hard work to represent General Santos well in the regional games that have yet again brought pride and joy to the city. 

On Friday, the city government disclosed that it would be giving incentives to participating athletes who will be bringing home medals.

The cash incentive was apportioned from the Special Education Fund but Pacquiao said the athletes would still be receiving another incentive from the city government by virtue of its existing ordinance authored by then city councilor and former Partylist Cong. Alberto "Bobby" Pacquiao.  

Athletes who competed in the Regular Sports and won medals received the following cash incentives: P5,000 for gold; P3,000 for silver; and P2,000 for bronze.

For Paragames and Demo Sports, the cash incentives received were P3,000 for gold; P2,000 for silver; and P1,000 for bronze.

The mayor also added P3,000 for silver medalist athletes who sustained injuries during the games.  

Based on the Department of Education (DepEd) 12’s official and final tally, also posted on Friday, Gensan athletes scored 117 gold medals, 115 silvers, and 83 bronzes in regular sports competition; nine golds, five silvers, and six bronzes in demonstration sports; and 18 golds, 18 silvers, and 10 bronzes in the paragames category.

Of the athletes, homegrown gymnast Rocheann Miel Antonio bested her rivals at the regional games, bringing home six gold medals in a successful winning streak.

Carlito Rocafort, DepEd 12 regional director, also highlighted the success of this year’s SRAA Meet as he applauded everyone who significantly participated in the event on DepEd 12’s official Facebook page.

“To all our athletes, whether you are a medalist or not, the skills, knowledge, and experiences you have gained from joining this 2023 SRAA Meet will undoubtedly help you grow as a person and achieve even success in the future.”

He also commended and thanked the local government of Kidapawan City and the DepEd Division Office of Kidapawan for graciously hosting the venue of SRAA games.

The event, which was attended by 5,000 athletes and coaches in teams coming from the eight schools’ divisions of DepEd 12, rolled out on April 24 and ended on April 29.

It had 27 sports events distributed in different venues that included the city government-owned gymnasium, schools, swimming resorts, and covered courts.  

Mayor Pacquiao also vowed to prepare early in time for the city government’s hosting of the SRAA Meet in 2024. (CTA/PIA SarGen)

About the Author

Catherine Apelacio

Information Officer III

Region 12

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