Football for a Better Life caps 2016 edition
Mentors, facilitators and organizers of the tenth leg of the Football for a Better Life 2016 clinic. Left to right, first row: Gizelle Camua of Pru Life UK, Greg Naquines, Chieffy Caligdong, Astrid Heiress Ignacio, Nikko Gutierrez, Nicolai Abalos, Shane Clemente. Second row: Misagh Bahadoran, Graham Caygill, Reffix Cuaresma, Simone Rota, Jeffrey Cuaycong (San Beda Juniors coach), Jim Ashley Flores.
Football knowhow and life skills came into play at the tenth and last leg of the 2016 edition of Football for a Better Life (FFABL) held recently at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. Members of the Azkals Men’s National Football Team, professional footballers and coaches gave clinics to over 300 kids of the Gawad Kalinga (GK) SipaG football league. FFABL is the grassroots development program supported by Pru Life UK in cooperation with SPEARS Sports, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Azkals Foundation, regional football associations and local government units.
Gawad Kalinga (GK) is a nationwide poverty-eradication movement established in 2003 whose main thrust is to help build communities for underprivileged Filipinos.
Leading the list of football mentors at 10th leg of FFABL were former Azkals team captain-now-assistant coach Chieffy Caligdong, defender Simone Rota, and winger Misagh Bahadoran. They were joined by Filipino-British footballer Graham Caygill and national team member and San Beda Juniors coach Ashley Flores.
The clinic was made more fun with the participation of Greg Naquines of La Salle Greenhills, Jacob Pedernal of Ateneo, Nikko Gutierrez of UST, Nicolai Abalos and Shane Clemente of San Beda, and Astrid Heiress Ignacio of Miriam, who served as assistant facilitators. Twelve-year old Astrid is the recipient of a 15-day training scholarship with Spain’s FC Barcelona, while Greg, Jacob, Nikko, Nikolai and Shane were part of the Little Azkals training pool that went to the United Kingdom’s Loughborough University in 2013 for an elite training,
The GK football clubs that took part were from communities in Sta. Ana, Smokey Mountain, Arkong Bato, Buayang Bato, Welfareville, Tatalon, Sitio Ruby, Barangka Drive, Grigio, San Joaquin and Rizal High School. The Al-mustaphanians, a football team composed of teenage boys from Mindanao who are now residing in Metro Manila, was a guest participant.
For the morning session, the kids, ages 6 to 15, were given drills on passing, dribbling and shooting, as well as pep talks by the more experienced footballers. They were also given a short lecture on financial wellness courtesy of Pru Life UK’s Cha-Ching Team.
In the afternoon, there were seven a-side tournaments for U10, U12 and U15 age groups. Winners for the U10 age tournament were: GK Tatalon FC (champion), GK Smokey Mountain FC (first runner-up), and GK Arko FC (second runner-up); winners of the U12 tournament— GK Barangka FC (champion), GK Smokey Mountain FC (first runner-up), and GK Welfareville FC (second runner-up); and winners of the U15 tournament—GK Tatalon FC (champion), GK Barangka FC (first runner-up) and GK Smokey Mountain FC (second runner-up)