By Alexander Villafania
TAGUM CITY, DAVAO DEL NORTE – With football slowly becoming a favored sport among Filipinos, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) recently started the National Football Grassroots Development Program here in an effort to encourage Filipinos youths.
The program targets especially those in low-income communities to start playing football.
In a statement, PFF National Head for Events Management and Training Cyril Dofitas said the organization has partnered with car manufacturer Suzuki Philippines to hold the program, which would involve getting 33 provincial sports associations.
Under the program, sports coaches will be trained to conduct youth-oriented workshops and seminars for football.
Suzuki is said to be putting in the needed amount for financial assistance to the trainers, holding football competitions, purchasing of equipment and to send PFF executives to attend regional events.
Tagum City Mayor Rex Uy said in a separate statement that football is a good avenue to encourage children to get into sports. In particular, he said that football should be one of the sports that must gain acceptance among youths, especially in a country that is predominantly wild over basketball and boxing.
As such, Uy’s administration is looking to put up football fields where the grassroots program would take shape. He said: “It would be hard if there would be no area to play football.”
Tagum City recently hosted the Under 23 National Football Cup between Compostela Valley’s Comval Gold team and the Tagum Palm City team. It was during this event that the National Football Grassroots Development Program was launched.
The success of football in the Philippines is largely credited to the national football team that called themselves the Azkals, who have been winning in international competitions.
(Additional photo courtesy of Real Madrid Foundation)
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