Ambassadors Cup kicks off, MOU signed
With the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), the beautiful game might just have truly gained momentum in the Metro.
Aimed to harness the power of football in uniting persons, communities, and countries, the 2014 Ambassadors Cup Grassroots Football Project was launched at UA&P on February 28, 2014 by organizers UA&P, The Henry V. Moran Foundation, and Team Socceroo Football Club. The Cup partners Embassies with children from underprivileged communities in Metro Manila through a summer football training program, where the children learn not only to play football well but also to grow in virtues, values, and solidarity among themselves and their partner embassy.
Present at the launch were Ambassador Roberto Mayorga of the Embassy of Chile; Ambassador Ndateni Agnes Nyamande-Pitso of the Embassy of South Africa; Ambassador Akinyemi Farounbi of the Embassy of Nigeria; Ambassador George Ney de Souza Fernandes of the Embassy of Brazil; Ambassador Lee Hyuk of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea; Ambassador Juvencio de Jesus Martins of the Embassy of Timor Leste; Ambassador Asif Anwar Ahmad of the Embassy of the United Kingdom; Ambassador Julio Camarena of the Embassy of Mexico; the Honorable Monica Elisabet Deregibus of the Embassy of Argentina ; other Embassy representatives; Mariano Araneta, Jr., President of PFF, who, together with Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, President of UA&P, inked the Memorandum of Understanding; Daniel Moran, Chairman of The Henry V. Moran Foundation; Nicholas Sylvester Reyes, Club Director of Team Socceroo Football Club Inc.; and Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Director for Research of UA&P Center for Research and Communication and Chairman of the PFF League Task Force.
Besides the above mentioned Embassies, the other countries which will participate in the Ambassadors Cup include Canada, Indonesia, and the United States of America, while a community will also be selected to represent the Philippines.
In his message to the assembly of dignitaries, collaborators, football coaches, and participating children from the embassies’ partner communities, Araneta emphasized how football imparts values which can improve lives. “The children will learn that there is no hidden secret to excel in football. It requires sacrifice, perseverance, and discipline at any level,” he said.
A mini football game was held for the children after the ceremonial kick-off made by the ambassadors and participating organizations.
The launch is the first of the three phases in the grassroots football project. Phase 2 involves a coach training program for select young men from the partner communities, which involves general grassroots football training and values-oriented football training exercises to be held during summer break. There will also be two field trips to a football stadium and to a live game. Phase 3 involves a day-long futsal mini World Cup at UA&P sometime early May.#
Text by Liza Marie Alvarado and Martin Badoy