By Dexter Cabalza and Melissa Luz Lopez
Damages to the roof of the old College of Human Kinetics gym have prompted its Varsity Sports Office to call off holding the Diliman Games for the first semester.
CHK Dean Leilani Gonzalo said the annual inter-college sporting event was cancelled to make way for the replacement of the old gym’s roof.
Gonzalo said the college has already advised PE classes and varsity teams to find alternative venues on their own since the use of the old gym will soon be limited.
The UP Fighting Maroons are currently holding practice sessions at the Celebrity Sports Club due to the ongoing repairs. Other teams, however, are still looking for possible training venues.
Gonzalo added that the resumption of the Diliman Games in the second semester is still uncertain because materials contractor Ace Hardware estimated the repairs to take six months.
“We do not know yet when [the repairs] will start or when it will end,” said Varsity Sports Director Ariel Juliano.
In a text message, Julio Silvestre, coach of the CMC Wildcats said, “[The cancellation is a] sad happening for enthusiasts and athletes for this semester’s event, especially [for] those graduating this year.”
Gonzalo said CHK’s long-term sports development plan for the university, which includes the construction of a sports complex designed by the Office of the Campus Architect, must be shelved since the repairs are the college’s top priority.
The P1.2 million collected from the students’ athletic fees this semester still falls short of the P1.5 million needed to cover the expenses of varsity teams, she said.
CHK Student Council Chairperson Fidel Ballesteros blames the lack of funding as a hindrance to the improvement of the university’s athletic programs and facilities. The college is facing budget problems since PE is not covered by the basic tuition fee.
“Right now, we can only say that the lack of adequate physical resources is a significant limit to the execution of whatever plan we have for CHK and the university,” he said.