A Bangsamoro athlete leads the iconic lighting of the torch on Saturday, May 11, 2024, signifying the commencement of the weeklong Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association (BARMMAA) Meet, attended by 11 participating delegations across the region, in Cotabato City—the host local government unit. (Benyamen Cabuntalan/BIO)


COTABATO CITY—The Palarong Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association (BARMMAA) 2024 officially commenced at the Cotabato State University (CotSU) grandstand here on May 11.


Around 11,000 delegates, including athletes, coaches, officials, and enthusiasts from across the Bangsamoro region, joined the creative parade in the city’s streets and the ceremonial lighting of the torch to officially start the weeklong regional sports meet.


The Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) is leading this sports meet, with Cotabato City as the host local government unit (LGU).


Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal mentioned that this week’s event fosters regional identity and pride as divisions engage in friendly competition, emphasizing the spirit of sportsmanship.


“While we hope for your victory, we encourage you not to be disheartened if you cannot stand on the winner’s podium. Your participation alone is a testament to your strength and commitment,” Iqbal added.


This year’s sports meet carries the theme, “Empowering sports for a stronger, united Bangsamoro,” which will culminate on Friday, May 17, 2024.


Set to compete for the championship are 11 BARMM delegations from Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur I and II, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Special Geographic Areas, and the cities of Marawi, Lamitan, and Cotabato.


According to Director Yusof Thong Amino of the MBHTE’s Bureau of Physical Education and Sports Development (BPESD), in his interview yesterday, May 10, the contingents are expected to battle for a total of 23 different sports, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, sepak takraw, among others, with dance sports—the newly added sport on the list.


Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim stressed that the third region-wide sports meet forms part of the rich Bangsamoro history.


“The BARMMAA Meet is just the beginning of your many narratives of success, and we cannot wait to hear your narrative and weave it as part of our proud Bangsamoro story,” said Ebrahim.


Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad “Bruce”Matabalao emphasized that the end goal of the annual regional meet is to unlock the full potential of the youth as well as uniting the Bangsamoro populace, embracing diversity and inclusivity.


Winning Bangsamoro contenders will represent the autonomous region in the upcoming Palarong Pambansa in Cebu City on July 6-16. (Johamin Inok/BIO)

Source: https://bangsamoro.gov.ph/news/latest-news/palarong-barmmaa-2024-kicks-off-minister-iqbal-emphasizes-spirit-of-sportsmanship/