Over the weekend, I was in Sagay City for the 5th Sinigayan 7-a-side Football Festival, which gathered thousands of footballers from across Negros Occidental at Sagay City National High School.
I was surprised how the event has progressed from 40 teams back in 2014.
The strong participation of parents and the community has turned the event into one of the annual activities that football clubs look forward to.
Moreover, it also provided the school with bigger sporting opportunities aside from football. Given enough support, the venue has the potential to host bigger sepak takraw competitions, among other sports. Motocross, bike racing, softball, and basketball have been hosted at separate venues across the locale, allowing for Sagay City to reach its potential as a provincial sports hub.
In my short conversation with City Sports Coordinator Benson Fernandez, he shared, the city is putting up a new sports complex on seven hectares of land donated by the local government, located within the Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology campus.
He said, if the new facility is completed by next year, it will further boost the city’s sports tourism program and may bid to host a provincial meet – if successful, it would be the first in years to be staged outside the Panaad Park and Stadium and Bacolod City.
Sagay City, under Mayor Alfredo ‘Thirdy’ Marañon III, has continuously improved its infrastructure as it becomes the next emerging sports destination in the province, even the region.
My gratitude to Mayor Thirdy Marañon, Sir Benson Fernandez, Ceres Negros FC Competition Administrator Warren Concepcion, Tournament Commissioner Catalino Valderrama, Sr., Jack Gallardo of the Sagay Photographers’ Guild, and fellow sports scribe Henry Doble for a fruitful weekend./JSG, WDJ