By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The city plans to host international sporting events once the 20-hectare Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports in the UP-Mindanao campus opens, City Mayor Sara Duterte said.
“That is in our minds, of course, yes, but as to a very specific event, wala pa (none so far),” Duterte said in interview.
She said she would like to rest after hosting the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) meet from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 and Palarong Pambansa in April and use the second half of 2018 to plan for 2020 until 2022.
She said the city agreed to host DAVRAA again this year to practice for Palarong Pambansa after Davao won the hosting rights last year.
She also said the city is in the thick of things in planning for DAVRAA to prevent the food poisoning incident among the athletes last year from happening
“Last year, when we hosted DAVRAA there were challenges and they were taken into consideration during the exit conference for that event in 2018. That will be taken up also in preparation for 2019 to make sure it will not happen again and since we are doing this in another venue from last year we will expect
challenges again,” Duterte said.
Some of the DAVRAA events will not be held at the sports complex since some facilities like the Olympic pool were still being built, but assured everything
will be ready before Palarong Pambansa.
The mayor hopes the sports complex will transform the city into a premier sports tourism destination.
“For the longest time, it has been a dream of Dabawenyos to have a large sports facility in the city. We cannot underscore how important it is for Davao City to have its own government-owned sports complex, not only to allow us to host major sporting events but also to provide Dabawenyos a facility to train for various sports disciplines,” she said.
The sports complex has a training gym, multipurpose building, football field, track oval equipped with FIFA-tested and certified artificial turf, and Aquatics Center.