The Davao sports community had a grand party last night at the Grand Regal Hotel for the 14th So Kim Cheng Sports Awards. It was a true celebration for the dedication of our local sports heroes who excelled in various sports disciplines here and abroad.
Two of our awardees did not make it last night. They are now in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Games set to open in two weeks. Shiela Mae Perez was our past Female Athlete of the Year while her diving compatriot Rexel Ryan Fabriga is this year’s Male Athlete of the Year. They are the pride of Davao and they carry in Beijing the city’s hope for Olympic glory.
By the way, world boxing wonder Manny Pacquiao, a past SKC Award winner, has sweeten the pot in the country’s quest for the 1st Olympic gold by another P1 million Pesos.
The awards is named after So Kim Cheng, a Davao businessman and sports patron. It was his 80th birthday yesterday. He passed away 14 years ago. He served as chair of the Davao Region Olympic Committee, president of the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines and founding president of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc.
Our Female Athlete of the Year is Joan Banayag, winner of the Manila and Clark International Marathon this year. Last year at the 24th Southeast Asian Games in Thailand, she won the bronze in the punishing 42.195 kilometer run and set a new national record for the Philippines.
Here is the list of the awardees.
Posthumous sports leadership awards were also given to Vic Sai, long-time sports editor and past president of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc. and Ferdie Lintuan, first president of the Davao Sportswriters Association.
The SKC Sports Awards is the most prestigious in this part of the country. It is the second-longest running awards after the Philippine Sports Awards in Manila.