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Palawan State University (PSU) has begun basic obstacle course training for local trainers and physical education faculty members in Palawan in preparation for its incorporation into academic curricula and national competitions.

University sports director Vince Esguerra said Thursday that the obstacle box provided by the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) will help to train and orient trainers with the obstacle course. PSU is one of the recipients of the obstacle boxes, out of a total of 19 distributed all over the country.

To add obstacle courses to games at the tertiary competition and the Palarong Pambansa, POSF has agreed to work with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“Ang main goal, ma-introduce sa Palawan para gawin na natin [ang] sports pagdating ng Palarong Pambansa. May advantage na tayo dahil out of 19 boxes, Palawan is the only province in region IV na meron box. Come Palarong Pambansa, meron na tayong pool of athletes na pwede mag-compete sa Palarong Pambansa na we can excel,” he said.

National coaches from POSF will facilitate the training from May 4 to 7 helping the trainers and faculty members of DepEd from different towns and CHED familiarize themselves with the obstacle course.

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There are also participants from Occidental Mindoro State University and Western Philippines University who joined from the tertiary level. He said that it is possible to open brackets for students and staff for tertiary-level competition.

Participants are expected to be trained in the prescribed flow, including their ability to perform the sports.

It is also planned to be integrated into the curriculum of PSU’s PATH Fit program and physical education curriculum of DepEd. Esguerra said this is not only a sport but will help to develop fitness, strength, endurance, and adhere to the POSF’s goal to “build better humans.”

“I think magiging ready sila kapag na-conduct ‘yong pinaplano ng POSF na inter-box competition, lahat ng box owners all of the province, 19 lahat ay magkakaroon ng simultaneous box competition. From youth to faculty and admin staff, meron competition, pabilisan ng time. Meron tayong advantage kasi maraming sumali ngayon na maaari natin ma-invite sa inter-box competition by June,” he said.

Esguerra believed that the integration of obstacle courses was timely to also prepare the athletes as it is planned to be a demo sport in the Olympics in 2028.

He is looking forward to producing more athletes who will excel in obstacle courses like the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Kevia Pascua.

Pascua won the gold medal in the 100-meter obstacle course in 2019 when he was a member of Palawan’s team.

Pascua was a taekwondo athlete and ultimate frisbee athlete at the university from 2007 to 2008. He is now affiliated with the POSF and said that he is willing to help train the local athletes.

“I think ito ‘yong starting pa lang, sobrang daming potential lalo na for our sports kasi individual sports siya, hindi siya as a team na kailangan marami– Ini-encourage namin first na faculty para ma-transfer sa students then students to pinakabata. Sobrang saya namin na nalagyan dito kung taga-saan talaga ako kasi nandito na ako sa sports na ito ngayon,” he said.

He believed more people in Palawan could compete and represent the province in the obstacle course competition.