by Dennis Principe
In their own, inadvertent way, kids from the south might be doing something that could lead to lasting peace which the people there have longed to attain.
Now on its third year, “TM Football para sa Bayan” has been to many parts of the country, particularly in strife-torn areas in Mindanao.
Apart from its achievement of enticing kids to play and learn the sport, football has also proven to be an effective way in making politics and ideologies among warring factions almost automatically take a backseat.
“Our program is not exclusive for poverty-stricken and talented kids. In fact, we learned from our partners that rebels in Mindanao have encouraged their kids to join our program and we have gladly accepted them,” said Globe citizenship manager Rofil Sheldon Magto.
As they continue their program all the way to Mindanao, Magto assures the safety and security of participants and officials as they aim to spread the beauty of the sport and help talented kids reach their potentials.
“I am from Cagayan de Oro and I know, despite the conflict going on in one area, there is no chaos in the entire region. Still, we are partnering with the Philippine Marines who are actually eager to help this program as they themselves encourage their kids and children of rebels as well to join and play football,” revealed Magto.
During a press conference Thursday at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila, chief corporate backer Globe announced the partnership with leading content and consumer company in Southeast Asia, Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (Astro) and its regional over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Tribe for the second straight year.
The tie-up will again allow talented Filipino kids to get a chance to undergo the Astro Kem Bola Advanced Training Program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and, potentially, the Overseas Training Camp in Barcelona, Spain by coaches from FC Barcelona Football Academy (FCBEscola) later this year.
“We believe in the comprehensive development of an athlete and look forward to supporting the advancement of football amongst youth in the region through strategic collaborations such as the one we have with Globe,” said Iskandar Samad, CEO of Tribe, subsidiary of Astro.
“TM Sports Para sa Bayan 2017” will revolve around football, basketball, and volleyball, three of the most popular sports in the Philippines which anyone, regardless of gender and social status, can easily engage in.
Globe has also partnered with select grassroots football organizations such as Dream Big Pilipinas (Metro Manila), Fundacion Santiago (Vigan, Ilocos Sur and San Carlos City, Negros Occidental), and Fundlife International (Palo, Leyte).