Sunday, September 24, 2006

RP to host 2nd int'l taspony festival

THE Philippines, in cooperation of the YMCAs in Cagayan Valley Inc. and in Northern Luzon composed of chapters from Baguio City, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo and Pangasinan, will host Sunday the second "International Taspony Tournament" at the University of Cordilleras (UC) here.

The tasponyfest reels off Saturday at the YMCA Baguio function hall with a training-workshop to orient participants on the nature and mechanics of the game.

Akihiro Nomura, president of the Japan Taspony Association (JTA), is here to grace the two-day taspony festival. Acting Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. will deliver the keynote address at the UC following his introduction by Judge Edilberto Claravall, YMCA-Baguio president.

The first international taspony tournament was held in Takoname City, Aichi, Japan last year from August 19 to 25 participated in by Taiwan, Thailand, China, the Philippines and host country Japan.

Taspony is a new game invented by Eizo Yamaguchi, a senior director of YMCA Nagoya, Japan. It is the third ball game that was invented by YMCA professional staff.

The first ball game is basketball invented by Dr. James Naismith. Second is volleyball, which was invented by William Morgan, both Physical Education (PE) directors in Springfield Massachusetts, USA.

Taspony, which is gaining popularity in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, is highly recommended as a form of recreation and exercise for young people and the elderly as well. Recently, Yamaguchi, YMCA vice president Victor Perez, YMCA-Cagayan Valley secretary general Dominador Calonia introduced the game in Malaysia and Singapore.

Calonia introduced taspony in the Philippines, one of the various sports he was required to observe from the YMCA of Nagoya, Japan in 2001 when he underwent management training at the Physical Education Institute (PEI) in May to August 2001.

On August 22 to 27, 2003, the JTA sent Masataka Ito and Taka Mano, Japan Taspony instructors, to conduct a series of demonstrations to members of the Hi-Y and College-Y Clubs of Cagayan Colleges (CC) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan State University (CSU) and Cagayan National High School (CNHS). Yamaguchi and Yoshio Suzuki, JTA chairman and vice chairman, respectively, officially introduced taspony to the lay leaders of the YMCAs of Northern Luzon in 2004 during the first lay leaders conference held August 20 and 21 in Dagupan City.

This year's tournament is participated in by players from Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and host country Philippines with categories for high school, college, 22-40 years old, and 41-55 years old, and 56 and above. Event divisions are men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. (AR)

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