Jun 18, 2021

Guam Youth Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day and Return to Sport

By Jojo Santo Tomas Pacific Daily News

The Guam National Olympic Committee is celebrating two events this weekend with a three-day, six-sport festival starting Friday afternoon.

The upcoming Olympic Day - observed worldwide on June 23 - combined with the public's return to Guam sports, was more than enough reason to hold multiple events, said Joey Miranda III of the GNOC.

Miranda was the chef de mission for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and will again lead Team Guam next month to the Tokyo Olympics.

"This is our way of trying to get people back into sports," he said. "We are still following guidelines, still following restrictions for indoor events and gatherings and of course, hand sanitizing and mask-wearing throughout."

Miranda said Guam has generally anticipated a return to competitive and leisure sports, and the GNOC has organized an event that is free for youths to join.

Those interested in wrestling can visit the Fudoshin Training Center in Tamuning, across from United Tire Center, from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday and 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Participants will get an introduction to Olympic styles of wrestling, fundamental wrestling skills, strength and conditioning and a discussion with Guam National wrestlers. Rckaela Aquino, a longtime wrestler, became Guam's first female to qualify for the Olympics on merit, according to GNOC president Ricardo Blas Sr.

On Saturday, athletes have the option of learning about rugby at the Wettengel Rugby Field, track at the Okkodo High School track, or they can check out some of the island's best young fastpitch softball players. A four-team single-elimination tournament starts 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Piti Softball field.

Athletes can watch Guam's junior national baseball team, which will play at least one game at the Paseo Stadium starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. If an indoor event is preferred, interested players can go bowling from 2 to 4 p.m. at Central Lanes in Tamuning. The event is free to the first 50 bowlers who are 21 years old and below.

No admission or participation fees will be charged at any event, said Miranda.

"We want to thank our participating federations and our sponsors: Pacific Daily News, AK Toyota, Docomo and Matson. This is a great opportunity for families, especially our youth athletes, to learn about a new sport, or get in a workout to celebrate Guam's overall return to sports. But remember to always protect yourself."