By Lea Regina A. Dulay/UM Intern
A RELUCTANT competitor ended up bringing honor to Davao City after grabbing two silver medals and one bronze during the recent ASEAN Para Games 2023 in Cambodia.
Arvie John D. Areglado still could not wrap his mind around the fact that he won bronze for the Men’s 100 Meters, silver for the 100 Meters Triple Jump, and silver for the Men’s Long Jump.
After all, he had long planned to quit the sport after finishing his education.
Areglado has played the sport since he was in the 5th grade in Lower Tamugan intending to secure a scholarship to continue his studies. In a turn of events, he was instead selected to play for the Human Environmental College with coach Mamert Abentorado, which sparked a deep interest in perfecting his craft.
Areglado continued his education as a varsity student at Holy Cross of Davao College under Emilio Lacanaria until he graduated. While in college, he was scouted by the Philippine Para-Athletics Team Head coach Joel Deriada in 2018.
He started competing internationally in 2022 in the 11th ASEAN Para Games.
Mikey Aportadera, head of the City Sports Development Division, said the local government is actively supporting para-athletes who will join in international competitions like the ASEAN games.
“We provide the necessary expenditures na requirement nila (which is their requirement) as much as we can. Of course, we have to limit it under Commission on Audit (COA) rules. At the same time, yung mga needs nila (their need) of assistance in terms of like mga damit nila (their clothes), and also other matters that we can provide them with.”
Local PWD games are also held in the city to prepare them for national or international events.
Areglado encouraged fellow PWDs to show their potential in different aspects in life. “Pagsugod nako aning journey, wala gyud koy sariling kusog nga mu-compete, dili ko confident sa akong sarili kay maulawon ko. Akong maingon sa akong mga kapareha pud nga ipagawas nato ang potential na atong gina tago—naa tay tumong ngano naa ta diri sa kalibutan.” (When I started, I did not have the strength to compete, I was not confident because I was shy. So, I want to tell all my fellow PWDs to show our hidden potential—we all have a purpose in this world).
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