• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Bago City will again send three all girls softball teams, which will represent the Philippines in international games in the United States next month.
This was revealed during the launch yesterday of the PONY Baseball and Softball Visayan Region chapter in Bago City, Negros Occidental, attended by PONY International Asia Pacific representative Takeharu Nasu and Japan PONY director Tamami Kodemura, who were accompanied by PONY Philippines Region directors Rey Fuentes and Rodolfo Tingzon Jr.
Tingzon said PONY Baseball and Softball Philippines were “very inspired” with the interest shown by the people of Bago City in the sports of the baseball and softball, which they relayed to their international headquarters in the United States.
Impressed by their report, Tingzon disclosed that a decision was arrived to open a PONY Visayan Region chapter that will promote the sports of baseball and softball to the youth with ages 4 to 18 years old, and give them the necessary tools to excel in both sports.
He added that they are planning to send coaches and equipment to continually update coaches in the region, with the latest technology in training and coaching the youth.
With the establishment of Visayan Region chapter, Fuentes said they will be fielding all-girls softball teams (12 and 16 under), to the PONY International Softball World Series on July 19 to 24, in McAllen, Texas, USA, while another all girls softball team will once more join the Little League Softball World Series in Kirkland, Washington DC, USA.
Bago City softball players, who will represent Philippines, are competing against four US teams, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, China, France and the Czech Republic.
Tingzon said he believes that the chances of softball players from Bago, the first two teams in Visayas to be fielded, is “very strong.”
Following the launch of the PONY Baseball and Softball Visayas Region chapter at the Bago City Coliseum, Nasu and Kodemura also turned over an initial package of baseball and softball equipment.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo hailed the support of PONY International for their grassroots sports program.
This is a very welcome development for us here, especially to young girls and boys, to be able to have the opportunity, but also to have the discipline in sports, which has been given emphasis ever since, Yulo said.
He also acknowledged the support of the Department of Education to the sports program of the Bago City government.*