Pagcor allots P15M for training of young footballers
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has infused another P15 million to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) for the training expenses of more young Filipino football players and their teacher-coaches.
Pagcor Assistant Vice President for Corporate Communications Maricar Bautista said the fund would allow an additional 55,000 children to participate in the Kasibulan Grassroots Football Development Program (2015-2017) organized by the PFF.
Four years ago, Bautista said, the state gaming firm bankrolled the same grassroots football program with P20 million financial aid.
READ: PFF receives P10-M boost
This year, she said, the P15 million donation to PFF will cover not only the training expenses of the children who play football but also the training of 7,200 teacher-coaches who have been supporting the project since June 2015.
Bautista said the additional financial support will also enable the PFF to expand its reach, especially in far-flung communities.
“When Pagcor donated P20 million to PFF in 2012, the Kasibulan Grassroots Football Program was able to train 65,774 girls and boys as well as 10,474 football coach-educators in more than 200 areas in the country. We want to continue this noble endeavor that is why we keep on supporting this program,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Kasibulan Grassroots Football Festival is a three-day activity that provides teachers with the rudiments of the football game and the processes of organizing a tournament. On the last day, 500 students will be invited to participate and play football.
The program also provides for venues for young football enthusiasts in different parts of the country to develop their agility, skills and passion for football.
“We are hopeful that through this program, many of these kids will become part of the national team and represent the country in international football tournaments,” said Bautista.
PFF’s National Grassroots Officer Aquilino Pastoral III commended the PFF-PAGCOR grassroots football program, saying it has been creating a great impact to young participants.
“Actually, gumaling na yung mga bata. Kaya kami sa PFF, hindi na kami nahihirapan na mag-hanap ng national players natin na ipapadala sa ibang bansa,” Pastoral said.
(The children have improved. That’s why we in PFF no longer have difficulty in searching for national players for us to send overseas.)
He said the funding from Pagcor greatly helps them in enticing more individuals to play football.
“Pagcor enabled us to re-start this program in 2012 and because of that, other private entities including the international community have also given their support. Lahat naman siguro ng bansa naniniwala na (Perhaps everyone in the country believes that) the only way to have a competitive national team is to have a strong grassroots program. Yun yung ginagawa natin (That’s what we are doing) through the help of Pagcor.”
Aside from learning how to play football, Pastoral said, the kids enrolled in the program also learn the value of discipline.
“Some coaches require them to study hard or get good grades so they can join the training, kaya marami dyan na-i-encourage mag-aral ng mabuti. Nakaka-tulong din yung program na ma-ilayo ang mga bata sa masamang bisyo (so many of them are encouraged to study well. The program has also helped steer the youth from vices),” he said.
Pastoral said football coaches also benefit from the training that the program offers.
“Marami din tayong naitutulong sa mga teachers (We are also helping the teachers in many ways). Primarily, they gain confidence in teaching football in the field. Alam na nila yung gagawin at nabibigyan din natin sila ng tamang direksyon sa (They know what to do and we are also able to provide them with the right direction in) football coaching ng Philippines,” he added.
Antonio Noel Mariscal, football coach for 20-years, acknowledged the gaming firm’s huge support in the development of football in the country.
“Ang philosophy ng grassroots training ay dalhin sa ibat-ibang areas at i-open for everyone. Isa sa pinaka-mahirap na ginagawa ng coach ay ang mag-hanap ng sponsor to support the training. Malaking bagay ang pakikipag-tulungan ng Pagcor sa pagbibigay ng financial resources para magawa natin ang ganito kalaking program nationwide,” he said.
(The philosophy behind grassroots training is to take it to different areas and to open it to everyone. One of the struggles of a coach is to find a sponsor to support the training. Pagcor’s cooperation is a big help, it’s provision of financial resources, for us to be able to conduct this big a program nationwide.)
Last month, Bautista said, almost 500 children participated in the Pagcor-PFF football clinic held at the Department of Education Sports Complex in Virac. CDG/rga
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