Rizal Memorial Sports Complex track oval (File photo)

MANILA – With five days before the opening, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has assured its full preparations to host its highly anticipated 2023 Batang Pinoy (BP) and Philippine National Games (PNG) on Dec. 17 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

As of Dec. 11, close to 18,000 athletes from ages 17 and below are set to take centerstage in BP, with almost 4,000 athletes from ages 18 and above set to showcase their talents in the PNG.

“These games represent another significant milestone in our commitment to promoting sports excellence and development of our young athletes. We are fully committed to providing a world-class platform for our athletes to showcase their talents and compete at the highest level,” PSC Chairman Richard Bachmann said.

The simultaneous staging of BP and PNG will parade 25 sports namely – archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball 3×3, boxing, chess, cycling, dancesport, football, gymnastics, judo, karatedo, kickboxing, lawn tennis, muay thai, pencak silat, sepak takraw, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, beach volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting and wushu.

“We want to provide the best possible exposure for athletes of the Batang Pinoy and Philippine National Games. There’s a lot of learning that we got from competitions abroad like the way they conduct it from the registration, the pre-game up to the actual competition and post-game,” Executive Director Paulo Tatad said in an interview on the PSC Chatroom program.

“One thing we want to pick up is the custom of exchanging pins. We’re encouraging LGUs (local government units) to create their own pins. We’re trying to recreate that feel,” Tatad added.

All participants, coaches and delegations from almost 200 LGUs are set to gather in the opening ceremonies on Sunday, expected to be graced by notable BP and PNG alumnus together with other Filipino sports legends at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

To further fuel up the flagship advocacy of advancing the country’s grassroots sports program, the sports agency partnered with private organizations and institutions such as the Philippine Basketball Association, Milo Philippines, Otsuka Solar-Pocari Sweat, PLDT and Smart Communications, Grab, Chooks To Go and Shakey’s Philippines. (PR)