Baliwag, Bulacan — For 14-year old Hazelyn Pabalinas, joining the upcoming 2017 Palarong Pambansa is a dream come true. A SPED student of the Baliwag North Central School for three years now, Hazelyn has Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or PLMD. She and two other PWD athletes from Bulacan namely Josephine Bautista and Lindel Macas of Obando Central School are the over-all champions in the recently concluded Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association Meet and will represent the region in the Athletics-Paralympics Category.
This is the second time that Hazelyn joined the CLRAA meet, along with her older sister Marilyn who along with her teammates has brought home the 8th place in the 100M relay in last year’s Palarong Pambansa.
SPED teacher and coach Rubyrizza Cruz, who is in-charge of selecting and training PWD athletes of Baliwag North Central School, said that while these students have learning disabilities, their motor skills are exceptional and exhibit their multiple intelligences in the field of sports. According to Cruz, Marilyn holds the fastest record for the 100M at 40 seconds.
“Ako po ay masaya na dahil dito sa pagkapanalo nila sa CLRAA ay tanggap sila ng community.
Makikita po natin na mas magaling sila sa mga regular na bata sa isports. Natutuwa po ako sa DepEd dahil dito sa Palarong Pambansa ay nabibigyan ng equal opportunity at may inclusive education para sa mga katulad nilang may kapansanan,” Coach Rubyrizza explained.
As for Hazelyn who will be competing in shotput, 100M sprint, and running long jump events, she is now continuously preparing for the Palarong Pambansa which will be held in San Jose de Buenavista City, Antique on April 23-29.
“Gagalingan ko po at practice araw araw po,” Hazelyn stated in full enthusiasm.
For Myleen Cruz, her daughters’ involvement in sports is truly a significant development in her children’s life.
“Natutuwa po ako kahit sila’y niloloko, kahit ganyan sila, nakilala sila dahil sa galing nila sa isports,” Myleen said.
The annual conduct of the Palarong Pambansa aims to promote physical education as an integral art of the Basic Education for the holistic development of the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens of the country and to inculcate the spirit of discipline, teamwork,excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other values inherent in sports.
It also seeks to widen the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary and secondary students to serve as athletes’ roster to the National Sports Associations for international competitions and to provide a database that will serve as basis to further improve the school sports development programs.
Since 2008 when sports events were created for students with disabilities and enrolled in SPED schools, these games paved the way for PWDs to exhibit their athletic abilities and skills and to feel accepted in the community.