Senator Bong Go sent rubber shoes to 24 members of the athletics team of an elementary school in the northern Iloilo town of Balasan.
Go sent the shoes after learning that the team was declared over-all champion, despite running barefoot, in an athletics competition for elementary boys and girls in the Iloilo Schools Sports Council Meet 2019. The team garnered eight gold medals for the girls and six gold medals for the boys.
A photo of the team uploaded on social media also went viral.
Rodel Montebon from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas represented the legislator during the turnover at the Balasan Central Elementary School.
The distribution of the rubber shoes was witnessed by municipal officials led by Mayor Manuel Ganzon, Department of Education officials, coaches and parents.
“Student-athletes used spike shoes for training but competed barefoot.”
In previous interviews, Benedicto Prasas, a teacher at the Carles Elementary School and athletics coach, said the student-athletes used spike shoes for training but competed barefoot.
The feet of the athletes competing in the middle-distance race, such as the 1,500 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and hurdles were wrapped with bandages.
This practice of running barefoot started in 2006, Prasas said, and the bandages were not removed until the competition was over.
“The children are very grateful to Senator Bong Go for helping these small Filipino athletes realize their dream to run with spike shoes on,” he said.