‘Pushing For Track Oval’ article by Sun.Star

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Ricky Ballesteros addresses the athletic directors, heads of the running clubs and running enthusiasts (Sun.Star photo by Arni Aclao)

Pushing for oval repair (Sun.Star article, Feb. 14, by Rommel Manlosa)

RUNNING enthusiasts who belong to the different running clubs or schools gathered last Thursday to launch a signature campaign that will put “positive pressure” on the Cebu City officials to rehabilitate or repair the damaged Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC) track oval.

“The CCSC track oval is already 15 years old. It is the busiest and most frequently-used track oval in the country. Its life span is only 10 years but it has served the Cebuanos longer than expected. This time we have to act by asking the City officials, Mayor Tom (Osmeña) or Acting Mayor Mike (Rama) and the City Council, to repair or build a new track oval. This signature campaign aims to get their commitment for the repair of the oval,” said organizer John Pages.

The group is aiming to get at least 50,000 signatures in two weeks and will present them to Acting Mayor Rama.

“This is the right time to ask (our city officials) for the repair of the track oval because Mayor Tom is on his last term and Vice Mayor Rama will be running for his first mayoralty race,” said Pages.

Also present during the gathering was was CCSC manager Ricky Ballesteros.
Ballesteros said he got the assurance from Mayor Osmeña that once the City will have its money from the South Reclamation Project, its first priority will be the repair or construction of a new track oval.

Ballesteros also revealed that the cost of the repair will be between P15 and P35 million.
“I got a quotation that is $59 per square meter, one quotation is at $124 per square meter, and there’s this Manila-based contractor who offered a complete program of work for only P2,500 per square meter. But this quotation is as of September of last year when the economy was still good,” said Ballesteros.

The CCSC track oval has a total area of 6,166 square meters. Meanwhile, Councilor Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem, the chairman of the committee on professional games, amusement and sports at the City Council, welcomed the group’s initiative.

First priority
“The mayor clearly said that when the City will start earning from the SRP ventures, his first priority will be the repair or even to build a new sports complex. While Acting Mayor Rama has his full commitment for the repair of the track oval. We, at the city council, are also agreeable to the repair but as of now the money that is in our hands has priorities. Rest assured that when we get the proceeds from the SRP lots, the City will be looking at this concern first-hand,” Jakosalem told Sun.Star Cebu.

Jakosalem also admitted that the repair of the track oval is long overdue.
Among those who were present during the meeting were the athletic directors of the different universities: Ryan Aznar of Southwestern University, Bernard Ricablanca of the University of Cebu, Eldiberto Banzon of Abellana National School.

“A track oval is the centerpiece of a city when it comes to sports tourism. I agree with all of you. We need to do this signature campaign to let our city officials know that we too are concerned about the state of our track oval,” said veteran marathoner Dr. Yong Larrazabal.

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