An estimated 3,000 athletes will be participating in the first Negros Island Region Athletic Association Meet scheduled on Feb. 8-12 in Bacolod City.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said the number of visitors in the province during the NIRAA could double as the athletes will be accompanied by their coaches, trainors, chaperones and parents.
“This is a very significant event for the province since this will be the first regional meet for the Negros Island Region,” Gov. Marañon said.
The governor added that assistance will be provided to the Negros Occidental athletes and incentives will be given to the medalists.
Marañon added that the NIRAA will be an interesting competition as Negros Occidental will be fielding the medalists from the Provincial Meet last year while the visiting athletes from the Oriental side will come from its six divisions.
The seven competing delegations will be Negros Occidental and the
Divisions of Bais, Bayawan, Dumaguete Guijulngan and Tanjay cities and of Negros Oriental.
Earlier, NIR interim director of the Department of Education Dr. Gilbert Sadsad explained that Negros Oriental participation was based on its participation in the Central Visayas regional meet.
Sadsad said the Regional Sports Council will have to agree on the basis of participation next year but for the first NIRAA, the previous system will be adopted.
He confirmed that hosting the first NIRAA will cost Negros Occidental a P5-million budget in addition to the P10.5 million for the delegation of the province.
Meanwhile, Gov. Marañon congratulated the Negros Occidental Football Association for bagging the championship in the PFF U22 competition Sunday against Davao.
With the Ceres company backing football in the province, the governor said local players need not go to Manila and join the other teams.
The NOFA champion team was at the Capitol yesterday to pay a courtesy call to the governor.*NAB
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