14 May 2021 – The city will host the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) in its bubble training starting July in preparation for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam from November 21 to December 2, this year.

This was revealed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the regular management committee meeting of local officials, May 11, at the Baguio Convention Center.

Sports officials led by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner and basketball icon Ramon Fernandez, PATAFA training director Renato Unso, head coach Sean Guevarra, and others, joined the meeting.

Unso said the Summer Capital was chosen as venue for the training bubble because of its accessibility, adequate sports facilities, and that its temperate climate is similar to that of Hanoi in November.

“Baguio’s relatively cool climate will help acclimatize our athletes to the weather in Hanoi, Vietnam when competitions start in November,” he said.

The Philippine delegation will also have its own medical team that will closely coordinate with local health authorities to make sure that the athletes will be taken cared of should any medical emergencies occur.

City sports coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said around 40 athletes will troop to the city for the training bubble together with a still unspecified number of coaches and trainers.

He said this year’s Southeast Asian Games will feature around 40 sports disciplines mainly those played at the Olympic Games.

After the meeting, Gonzales toured the visiting officials to Teachers Camp and Baguio Athletic Bowl, the main facilities that will be used during the estimated four-month training including other places of interests.

The Mayor said that it is a great honor for Baguio to host the training bubble and offered any other assistance the city government may possibly extend to the athletes while they are here.

PSC commissioner Fernandez, on behalf of the other sports officials, expressed their gratitude to the city’s officialdom for agreeing to host the training bubble.  He also assured that they will strictly adhere to all prevailing health protocols and other regulations. – Gaby B. Keith