Negros Occidental is poised to regain the overall championship in the
Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet this year, two years after opting out of the competition to join the now-defunct Negros Island Regional Athletic Meet.
Negros Occidental DepEd Sports coordinator Romeo Sison said that the Negrense athletes are now in deep training in preparation for the regionals, scheduled on Feb. 8 to 23 in Iloilo.
The athletes, he said, are aware of the challenge posed by the five other provinces in Panay Island, particularly, host Iloilo.
“The focus is on the athletes training as the other provinces have noticeably improved their performance in the past two years,” Sison said.
The Negros Occidental athletics team, he added, will be housed at the Panaad Stadium starting next week to intensify their practice, while the other teams have already built up their training alongside their respective coaches.
Selections were already formed for the ball games, Sison said.
Meanwhile, the Negros Occidental delegation will be billeted at La Paz Elementary School in Iloilo while the playing venues will be finalized today during the meeting with the provincial sports coordinators.
Sison said the proposed P12 million budget of the Negros delegation to the WVRAA 2018 has been submitted to the Office of the Governor, awaiting for approval.
The final count of the athletes and officials from Negros Occidental will also be announced next week, Sison said.
Before the NIRAA was created and eventually, abolished, Negros Occidental was the perennial champion of the WVRAA with Iloilo province as first runner-up.
With the combined forces of the Negros Occidental and Panay athletes, Western Visayas has repeatedly challenged the National Capital Region's dominance in the annual PalarongPambansa.*
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