Now in its fourth year, the annual Mindanao Peace Games vows to continue to go beyond the usual goals of sporting events, as it aims to exhibit empowerment and hope in Mindanao and the entire Philippines through sports.

The Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) started in 2014, through the collection of small dreams and hopes from a handful of university sports leaders of Mindanao. From these small dreams and hopes, small steps were taken. They then invited a few more friends from other schools and asked them to share their hopes and aspirations as well. They found it comforting to know that they shared the same common love for Mindanao and how sports can play an integral role in making it grow more.

From this common love for Sports and for Mindanao sprung the MPG initiative.

The MPG hopes to go beyond the usual sporting events. It aims to break stereotypes. The MPG will be more than just games. The MPG will provide avenues for coaches in Mindanao to gather together and learn from each other. It will also invite partnership with other governing sports associations, bodies and even private individuals. It will seek collaboration with student-athletes and inspire them to be coaches and leaders too, with special focus in Mindanao. It will emphasize the value of sports as means to building communities and achieving peace.

MPG Community Outreach. The various team captains of the participating schools pose for a picture with the CDO DepEd Superintendent after conducting a sports clinic for 200 public school kids in Cagayan de Oro City.

Today, MPG dreams to be a benchmark of sports in Mindanao. It hopes to provide an avenue where student-athletes learn more to be better people, where coaches learn more to be better mentors and where sports directors and coordinators learn more to be transformational leaders.

(1) Women Empowerment, (2) Peace and Community Building and (3) Transformational Leadership are the key messages of the MPG. It hopes to allow female athletes of Mindanao to gain access to more opportunities to play and grow in their craft. It hopes to bridge the gap between communities and mentor student-athletes to embrace the role of community builders and peace advocates. It hopes to emphasize to the sports leaders of Mindanao schools to have a transformational presence in their immediate communities.

The MPG does not aim to compete with other sporting bodies. In truth, it aims to complement other initiatives of genuine reforms in sports. However, the MPG drives that the resources of Mindanao in sports be prioritized to be used in Mindanao to immediately benefit the growth of its sports culture. It also aims to provide a model where other small communities can emulate – organizing coaches, “going beyond sports” initiatives and growing leadership from within.

MPG Coaches’ Forum. The MPG was able to conduct 7 Coaches’ Forum in Mindanao on its maiden year. Notable speakers who shared their time were Atty. Rebo Saguisag (left photo, in the middle, in red shirt), UAAP basketball commissioner, and Ms. Elma Muros (right), legendary sprinter and Olympian of the Philippines.

The MPG aims to grow itself better, exhibit empowerment and be a beacon of what is good and hopeful in Philippine Sports.

Last 2016 games were held in General Santos City. Two new schools took part – the Muslim school of Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College of Maguindanao and the Sebucal National High School, a Lumad school from Oroquieta City.

One of the short term goals of MPG is to have Christians, Muslims and Lumads competing and experiencing sports in an atmosphere that espouses Peace and Collaboration. It finally happened last 2016 in General Santos City, less than 2 years after it started.

Athlete-Leaders’ Assembly. The MPG finds it integral to grow the Team Captains and mentor them in seeing their important role in empowering their fellow athletes in making significant contribution in the community through their talents in sports.

This 2017, three universities in Mindanao have signified interest to join the MPG – the University of Southeaster Philippines (Davao), Iligan Medical Center College and the UP Mindanao.

Annually, the MPG adheres to achieve the following:

  1. At least (1) Coaches’ Forum each year to be conducted in every Region of Mindanao (Region 9 – Zamboanga Peninsula; Region 10 – Northern Mindanao; Region 11 – Davao Region; Region 12 – SOCCSKSARGEN; Region 13 – Caraga; and ARMM);
  2. Community Sports Clinic to be conducted by every member schools/organization;
  3. 5-Day MPG Tournament for Student-Athletes;
  4. Annual Student-Athletes’ Congress (Participated in by Team Captains); and
  5. Annual Leaders’ Summit and Out of Mindanao Growth Trip

The long term goal of the MPG is to share the template above across Mindanao and create other sports organizations with the above mentioned measurable goals.

We now leave you with a few MPG highlights, showcasing the positive impact of the annual tournament in the region.

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