Sports journalism award

The submission of entries for the 1st Vic Sai Sports Journalism Awards closed last Wednesday. The submitted entries for best sports news, best sports feature, best sports column and best sports photograph were evaluated today by the board of judges, shown here:

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Jonathan Santes (left) former newspaper editor/publisher and now Information Officer of the Sunday Runners Club; Jimmy Torres, veteran broadcaster and cable television host; and freelance writer and photojournalist Aurelio Pena.

The winners will receive their awards on April 4 in a dinner hosted by Pagcor-Davao. The sports journalism awards is a project of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc. in partnership with San Miguel Corporation and Nestle Philippines.

Local sports heroes

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.

7:16 a.m.

Vic writes 30

Victorio Sai, sports editor of the Mindanao Daily Mirror and president of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc., passed away yesterday morning.

He was 62.

His remains now lie in state at the Turin Room of the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes along Camus St.

All the members of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) led by Chair William “Butch” Ramirez, who were opening their Mindanao Office in Davao City yesterday, were at his wake last night.

We will miss his popular sports column “Jumpball” and his indefatigable work in organizing sports tournaments and the So Kim Cheng Sports Awards, the country’s second longest running after the Philippine Sports Awards. I was with him last week during the awarding ceremony of the Primovit Chess Championships, one of his many pet projects.

Our condolence to his family and the sports community of the Davao Region.

Incidentally, this means more work for me. I am the 1st Vice President of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc. and I would take over temporarily its leadership until our next elections in April.

(5:30 a.m.)