Allianz helps identify talents and put Aetas on board thru ‘Dare to Conquer’

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Dare to Conquer Challenge, an obstacle race, recently held at Clark Field, Pampanga hit two birds with one stone – it drew the top five male and female athletes for national pool inclusion while allowing indigenous youth to get the feel of competiton.

Jeffrey Regino topped the male open elite race in 50 minutes, 34 seconds while Sarah Lim Narvasa reigned supreme in the female side in 1: 14.52 minutes to earn one of the five slots staked in the division in the national pool that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games the country will host next year.

Joining them were Divina Manolito (52:36), Nathaniel Sanchez (53:38), Racky Madorable (54.52) and Gab Rosario (56:40) in the male category and Crystal Umala (1:15.25), Glorien Merisco (1:17:09), Kat Santos (1:17:16) and Ali Zandra Chiongbian (1:18.44) in female section.

Lawyer Al Agra, who heads the Pilipinas Obstacle Course Race Federation and Obstacle Course Race Asia, yesterday said they would stake 10 more slots – five males and five females – in another race on a new course at SM Aura in Taguig City next week.

These qualifiers will then be joined by more members who will make it to the four qualifying races POCRF will hold next year.

Obstacle race will make its debut in the SEAG where six golds – two each in 100m, 400m and 5K – will be staked.

“Expectations are high for us to produce because there will be six gold medals in obstacle race in the SEA Games next year,” said Agra. “That’s why we’re holding qualifying races early because we want to give our national pool members time to train and prepare.”

Allianz PNB Life, one of the driving forces of the Dare to Conquer Challenge, stressed social inclusion in the meet as it fielded in 21 young Aetas,  aged 16 to 21 years old, from the mountains of Villa Maria in Pora, Pampanga to team up with 21 Allianz executives and employees to race in the event.

It included Allianz PNB Life Insurance chief operating officer Alex Granz, who partnered with 21-year-old Aeta Jacob King.

“I helped him when he had cramps during the race and he helped me too,” said Granz referring to King, who has just graduated from Grade 12 and will take up an automotive course at a college in Porac.

“The bottom line is we just want social inclusion for our indigenous community,” he added.

“We at Allianz have always been curious and wanting to be a significant contributor in bridging the protection gap and what better way to exemplify that is by giving the minority group like the Aetas a chance to compete and be a part,” said Rei Abrazaldo, Allianz PNB Life marketing director.

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