Cebu establishes online dancesport tilt

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CEBU CITY: As contact sports and mass gatherings remain restricted amid the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) has come up with an alternative competition for dancesport athletes, dubbed as the 1st Grassroots Barangay Online Dancesport Competition.

Most of the participants are from barangay (villages) here that are under lockdown due to a high number of Covid-19 cases. The organizers plan to hold the event twice a month, following the success of the kick-off leg, livestreamed on Facebook last weekend.

“Most of the kids competing are living [below] the poverty line and [are] public school students. These students are living in villages that [have been] locked down for months now because of Covid-19,” said CCSC chairman Edward Hayco.

Hundreds of students from the villages of Tejero, Tisa, Labangon, Pardo, Inayawan, Zapatera, Sambag 1 and City Central Elementary School have committed to take part in the bimonthly dancesport tilt.

“We have done this to motivate the athletes with their training. We want them to stay fit amid this health pandemic, and organizing a competition will add motivation to them,” said Hayco.

“This competition is aimed to give them hope, provide them a positive activity so the entire family will not be emotionally and mentally idle,” he added.

Cebu City takes pride in its dancesport program and has produced top dancesport athletes over the years, including couples Wilbert Aunzo and Pearl Marie Cañeda, who shone with three gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Pampanga.

Hayco said there are a lot of prospects in the Cebu City dancesport team, and it is important to give them something to look forward to and keep them busy and fundamentally sound.

The athletes, who came from impoverished villages, have prepared for almost a month for the competition under the tutelage of teachers and coaches.

Before the inaugural competition, the Cebu City dancesport team bagged a silver medal in the 1st World Dance Online Competition last May as dancing couple Shardie and Marjorie Moshenska Abellana danced circles around competitors in their class in the Under-35 Latin Couple Dance-Rumba category.

The feat has inspired CCSC to establish its first online village dance festival.

Dancers from Labangon, Tisa, City Central School and Sambag 1 came out as the biggest winners in the dance festival. Labangon hauled three gold medals, six silvers and eight bronzes, City Central collected three golds, two silvers and three bronzes while Sambag 1 had two golds and one bronze.

Right now, Cebu City is the only capital or town in the country that is under enhanced community quarantine, the highest lockdown restriction level that the national government has imposed.

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