FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – No amount of rain can dampen the fighting spirits of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) civilian athletes from nabbing the overall championship title of this year’s Armed Forces of the Philippines Civilian Employees (AFP CEs) Sportsfest after going home with six gold medals as the event officially closed on Tuesday afternoon, August 14.
Fueling their thirst to reclaim the throne that was snatched by the General Headquarters (GHQ) in 2016, the PAF athletes made a huge comeback by sweeping six gold medals thereby upsetting the contenders from the GHQ, Philippine Army (PA), and Philippine Navy (PN).
Below is the list of awards received by PAF:
1. 2nd Runner Up - Volleyball (Men)
2. Champion - Volleyball (Women)
3. Champion - Road Race (Women)
4. Champion - Road Race (Men)
5. Champion - 4 x 100m Relay (Women)
6. Champion - 6 x 100m Relay (Men)
7. Champion - Badminton
8. 1st Runner Up - Centipede Race (Women)
9. 2nd Runner Up - Basketball
Champion Overall - Philippine Air Force
Richelle D Vallejo - 3rd Place Road Race
Napthali G Sadiasa - 3rd Place Road Race
Rio Nobleza - 2nd Place Road Race
Jennilyn P Regucera - 1st Place Road Race
Mariposa Abales – Miss AFP CEs Sportsfest 2018
However, due to inclement weather, two of the major event highlights – tug-of-war and obstacle race – had to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, GHQ failed to defend its title and finished the event as 1st Runner-up while the PN landed as 2nd Runner-up. Unfortunately, the PA – as this year’s host – did not make it to the top three.
Since the opening of the sportsfest, the civilian athletes had been juggling with their office duties and daily practice schedule. But because of the help of the coaches and support of the Group Commander of the Air Force Special Service Group, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan P Gastardo (MNSA), the civilian athletes were able to reclaim the coveted championship title.
As the civilian employees head of sports, Michelle Venturanza feels overwhelmed for the PAF’s victory.
“This is another feather in my hat. I'm proud of my babies [civilian athletes] for winning this sportsfest. And a job well done to my coaches and coaching staff for pushing my athletes to their finest,” she said.
With this huge achievement, the Command is eager and more determined to prepare and train its civilian athletes in next year’s AFP CEs Sportsfest taking into consideration the first-ever participation of the non-uniformed personnel (NUP) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“The NUPs of PNP and PCG are tough and very athletic since they have their own program and they stick to it. I will be reinforcing our own program [to the PAF civilian athletes] since GHQ has provided the AFP Number Circular 09 [a sports program that allows civilian employees to participate and compete in local and international events together with military personnel]. This will be the reference to a much stronger sports and wellness program for our civilian employees,” Venturanza added.
As the PAF prepares to host the next AFP CEs Sportsfest in 2019, a brand new set of events are expected to happen. Moreover, the PAF civilian athletes will have to double their time to train in order to defend and protect its championship title.