By Erwin M. Mascarinas
BUTUAN City – With its popularity catching up with young people in this city and its declaration as an official sporting event, enthusiasts have organized the 1st Butuan Downhill Longboarding Competition here in time for the city’s founding anniversary.
Set on Aug. 3, the competition has been accredited as one of the official activities of the upcoming “Adlaw Hong Butuan.”
“Both skateboarding and longboarding have gained its long-awaited recognition and has been added to the in the South East Asian games. Skateboarding debuts in the 2020 Summer Olympics Games in Tokyo has fueled the need to enhance the skills of our young enthusiasts, and with that, we opted to come up with this event,” said Jimat Libres, president of the BXU Board-riding Enthusiasts.
This year’s downhill skateboarding is among the 56 sporting events approved by the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council for this year’s SEA Games which will be held in Manila this December.
“We have a lot of promising young talented athletes here in Butuan and in other parts of Caraga region, what we lack is the avenue for them to show and further (develop) their skills and ability,” said Libres.
The event expects some 100 longboarding competitors coming from different parts of the country to experience the three-kilometer concrete tract prepared in Barangay Maguinda, this city.
As of July 24, “we already have 62 online entries from different parts of the Philippines, we have longboarder’s from Palawan, General Santos City, Bayugan City, Surigao City, Cabadbaran City, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Nasipit, and Buenavista in Agusan del Norte,” said Libres.
Libres added that other skaters from Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, and Iligan City have expressed interest to join the event.
The race is categorized as “Masters” for 30 years old and older, “Open Elite” for the 18 to 29 years old, “Juniors” for the 17 years old and younger and the “Women category.”
First aid medical team from the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and the Philippine Red Cross will be providing immediate medical assistance for board riders that might experience crash along the downhill course of the race.