PFF Receives AFC President Award for Grassroots Development

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 07, 2016 11:54 AM
PFF Receives AFC President Award for Grassroots Development
(Photo courtesy of The Philippine Football Federation)

The Philippine Football Federation was awarded the AFC President’s Award for Grassroots Football  (developing country) during the  2016 AFC Awards Night held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 01 December 2016.  This is the second time that  PFF has received the recognition; the first was in 2014 during  the AFC 60th Anniversary celebration.

In this award, member associations are commended for their efforts to promote and develop grassroots football. Part of the criteria is the Member Association’s efforts in partnering with external organizations to execute technical programs such as grassroots football-related courses, workshops, basic skills training and talent identification.

Through PFF’s  Kasibulan: Grassroots Development Project,  grassroots courses and festivals are  continuously held throughout the year in different parts of the country,  in both urban and  countryside settings. For 2016, a  total of 53 training sessions and festivals were conducted nationwide  involving  15,086 youth players and 3,577 teacher-coaches.

Renewed emphasis in grassroots  football  started soon after PFF president Mariano Araneta got elected in 2010. Part of the initiative was  to ensure  that the actual grassroots  football  coaches in the provinces received  adequate training from FIFA experts who conducted   Grassroots pro-active courses  in different  venues for the last 4 years.   Iloilo City, Davao City,  Baguio, and San Carlos City have been the actual venues of these FIFA courses and workshops.

It helped that PFF  re-launched its Kasibulan: Grassroots Football Development Program  in February 2012 in Calamba City  with international and local football stakeholders in attendance.

“I am delighted to receive the award  on behalf of the federation. The recognition should motivate us to do more.  We thank all those who helped us promote grassroots football  in the Philippines. The award  is meaningfull as it shows that we  are on the right track in developing the youth. As a developing football nation, we consider the grassroots as the lifeblood and the future of Philippine football.”

PFF  president   believes that the program can still be improved and has an immense potential to cover more ground and touch the lives of many more  boys and girls  in the country. He stresses on the importance of involving more sponsors and stakeholders to sustain and grow these activities.

Currently, the Kasibulan Program receives  support from  PAGCOR, Smart, Department of Education, Japan Football Association, and  Philam Life Foundation.

“We are ultimately thankful to our partner institutions and we hope that we are able to sustain these grassroots  initiatives,  and meet our objectives as we aggressively pursue new frontiers of football.”

The PFF Kasibulan  Programme includes  3-day Grassroots Course and Festival, Provincial Youth Championships, Regional Festival of Football, Grassroots Day, Grassroots Development Officers Courses, and Annual Grassroots Evaluation.

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