Republic of the Philippines

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Team Philippines to the Australasia handgun championship 2013 garners top awards in Rotorua New Zealand

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Team Philippines headed by Governor Datu Teng Mangudadatu, President, the officers and members of the Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) garnered several top awards in the recently concluded International Practical Shooting Confederation Australasia 2013 Handgun Championship in Rotorua, New Zealand. There were 750 competitors shooting for 25 countries.

The Philippine National Anthem was played several times as Filipino shooters won the Championship trophy and medals in the Classic (General category), Open (Junior category), Production (General category), Revolver (Standard category) and Standard (General category), 1st Runner Up/2nd Placer medals in the Open(General category), Open (Ladies category), Open (Senior category) and Production (junior category) and many Individual awards per division and per category. The official website of the PPA President listed the winning Philippine shooters with ten in the Standard Division according to Over- All Individual, Junior, Lady, Senior and Super Senior categories, ten in the Production Division divided into Over-All Individual, Junior, Lady, Senior and Super Senior categories, six in the Open Division classified into Over-All Individual, Junior, Lady and Super Senior categories, four in the Classic Division under the Over-All Individual, Junior, Lady and Senior categories and two in the Revolver Division in the Over-All Individual category. For the Team awards, four team members won the Standard Division Over-All Team Champion Gold Medal, three team members for the Revolver Division Over-All Team Champion Gold Medal, four team members for the Production Division Over-All Team Champion Gold Medal, four team members for the Open Division Over-All Second Place, Silver Medal, four team members for the Open Senior Second Place, Silver medal, four team members for the Open Lady Second Place, Silver medal, four team members for the Open Junior Champion Gold Medal and four team members for the Classic Division Gold Medal. The Philippine flag waved proudly as Team Philippines brought honour and pride to our beloved country and demonstrated time and again that the Philippines is home to world-class talents in many fields.

Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez joined the Philippine contingent at the colourful opening ceremony on 25 February 2013 during which the participating teams experienced the unique traditional Maori Powhiri welcome. Rotorua Mayor, His Worship Kevin Winters, Mr. Don Perry, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Nick Alexakos and Mr. Vinve Pino, President and Secretary, respectively, of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), Mr. Dino Evangelinos, President of the International Range Officers Association (IROA) and Mr. Gareth Graham, Match Director opened the 2013 Australasia IPSC Handgun Championships held for the first time in Rotorua, a progressive and culturally rich city and well known international tourist destination in the North Island of New Zealand. At the fellowship dinner, Governor Mangudadatu welcomed the Philippine delegation and their families, reiterated deep gratitude to H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines, former Undersecretary for Interior and Local Government Rico Puno, Rtd. Chief of the Philippine National Police Nicanor Bartolome and Congressman Jack Enrile for their valuable support to Team Philippines and obtained the views and suggestions of Team Philippines on the forthcoming PPSA programmes and events. Ambassador Benavidez welcomed Team Philippines officials, members and their families and said that the presence and participation of Team Philippines in the first ever Australasia Handgun Championship in Rotorua was timely and significant as Philippines-New Zealand relations are strengthened following the highly successful State Visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to New Zealand last October. “Team Philippines would undoubtedly contribute to closer people-to-people understanding and goodwill among Filipinos, New Zealanders and representatives from other countries and our resounding cheers, heartfelt prayers and best wishes for greater success and victories are with them,” she stated.

Mr. Marcelo M. Esparas, a Filipino member of the Porirua Pistol Club and the Secretariat of the Organizing Committee, extended invaluable assistance and full support to Team Philippines for the duration of the 2013 Australasian Handgun Championship in Rotorua. Leaders of the Filipino community, namely, Mr. Vincent Villasan, President of the Bay of Plenty Philippine Friendship Society and their officers and members, Ms. Marjorie Luxford and Ms. Susana So, President and Secretary, respectively, of the Philippine Club of Rotorua, Inc, and Ms. Jiji Heath, a major supporter of Filipino activities in Rotorua extended local hospitality by hosting a sumptuous barbecue dinner for Team Philippines at the residence of Ms. Heath. Ms. Cherry Andrews, Ms. Marichu Buckley, Ms. Lourdes Spijkerbosch, Ms. Erlinda Bowden, Ms. Liezel Luxford and other Filipinos donated food and drinks while Mr. Villasan, Vice-President Ronald Espellarga, Mr. Honorio Lopez and other Filipinos provided transportation for Team Philippines on this happy occasion. It was an enjoyable evening of fun and fellowship highlighting the “bayanihan” (volunteerism and unity) spirit among Filipinos in Rotorua and Team Philippines conveyed their deep appreciation to the Filipino community for their generosity and hospitality which made all of them feel at home in New Zealand.

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