A simultaneous playing of some 40,000 kids in one day is eyed as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) will bring the Children’s Games to 40 cities and provinces on November 20, 2018 in celebration of the World Children’s Day.
PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, at the sidelines of the second day of the PSI Coordinators’ Meeting and Workshop at the Multipurpose Hall Dorm G, PhilSports Complex recently, said the plan is ambitious but they are more than willing to make it happen.
“Forty simultaneous Children’s Games with 1,000 children in each area, mabigat ito. If we do this every year, we will reach 200,000 children in five years,” the PSC chief said, although adding that the World Children’s Day event is aside from other Children’s Games that will be held in other areas in the countryside until every community in the periphery is reached before the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends in 2022.
He said the Children’s Games, being at the heart of PSC-PSI’s grassroots sports program, meets the requirements of the United Nations’ medium development plan and the Philippine Constitution.
The Children’s Games, which is also the core of the agency’s Sports for Peace program, has been cited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) as the first to implement a program that meets its major themes. While other non-government organizations have implemented Children’s Games in other countries, only the Philippines has a government agency that implements it.
“Very important ito (Children’s Games). Others don’t understand why we are having Children’s Games. Ito lang ang programa ang narecognize ng Unesco,” he said, adding that regular programs like the Batang Pinoy, Palarong Pambansa and Philippine National Games, which have been existing for quite some time, have not been given such recognition.
The Children’s Games, designed as a vehicle to promote peace, aims to bring Christian, Lumad and Muslim children 12 years old and below to play together, thus, eliminating barriers of religion and culture. Children from the marginalized sector including the children in conflict with the law (CICL), out-of-school youth, streetchildren, children displaced by war and abused children are also part of the program. Youth volunteerism is also being promoted in the Children’s Games through the Ate and Kuya sports volunteers program.
Ramirez added, “This is a legacy we want to leave, that we have supported the children’s right to play and helped in the formation of values and character of future mothers, fathers, policemen, leaders of the country.”