Elementary school athletes barred from 2021 Palaro

Elementary level competitions won’t be held if and when the 2021 Palarong Pambansa is staged through online platforms this year.

Department of Education undersecretary Tonisito Umali said this as the guidelines that will govern the Palaro continue to be discussed by school officials who are involved in the planning of the Games.

“Fifteen years old and above lang ang pwedeng makasali. That’s the plan to be presented to the Palaro board, and to the IATF for approval,” said Umali.

During the weekly online session of TOPS: Usapang Sports, Umali said participation in the Palaro will be limited because of the coronavirus situation and the availability of the vaccine in the coming months.

DepEd officials said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has compelled Palaro organizers to scrap their plans to hold outdoor events of the annual meet.

Organizers are now focused on doing competitions that can be recorded on video, and with its many participants confined to their homes.

Also affected will be those who are joining from the grade 7 and 8 levels, and this because the student-athletes in this category are now allowed to join high school competitions.

Umali added that the final approval of the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will allow them to finally let virtual competitions take place.

If the Games do happen, this will be the first that the Palaro will be held online for the first time in 75 years.

Unlike in the past years, participants need not travel to other places to join the Palaro under this setup.

Palaro officials said sports that are not measurable and timed will not be included. Events that are into forms and styles are now in their minds.

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