Football for a Better Life gets international award

ABS-CBN Sports on May 19, 2017 01:42 PM
Football for a Better Life gets international award
Football for a Better Life tournament held at the PhilSports Football Field in Pasig for the Metro Manila leg of the program.

Football for a Better Life (FFABL), a nationwide grassroots football program conducted by members of the Azkals Philippine Men’s National Football Team, won a 2017 Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). FFABL is among three Merit Awardees in the Corporate Social Responsibility Category. The other two were projects from Russia and from Canada. FFABL founder Albert Almendralejo, president of SPEARS Activation and PR, will go to Washington DC next month to personally receive the Gold Quill at the IABC Excellence Awards Gala which will be held on June 13.  

According to the IABC website,, “The Gold Quill Awards program recognizes business communication excellence globally, and is acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards program in the industry. Entries are evaluated against IABC’s standard of excellence.” Furthermore, the website notes that based on feedback from IABC’s evaluators, the standard of work in the 2017 awards was “some of the best seen in recent years.”

The 2017 Gold Quill Award is the latest recognition to be given to FFABL, after bagging a citation from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA), and winning an Anvil Gold at the annual Anvil Awards given by Filipino public relations practitioners.

In all three award-giving bodies, FFABL was hailed for championing youth development and providing a pathway for underprivileged children through football.

Launched in 2015, FFABL conducts free football clinics and tournaments to boys and girls ages six years old and above. Former and current members of the Azkals, such as Chieffy Caligdong, Misagh Bahadoran, Phil Younghusband, James Younghusband, Simone Rota and Amani Aguinaldo, have all become FFABL facilitators.

The program has reached more than 20,000 kids in 20 towns/cities in the Philippines, including Gingoog in Misamis Oriental, Tagum in Davao del Norte, and Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur where football is a developing sport. FFABL partners with local governments, local football associations, schools, and other stakeholders to promote the sport, enhance players’ skills, and identify talent.

At his speech at the opening of the Philippines Football League, economist and football enthusiast, Bernardo Villegas, PhD., cited FFABL as “traveling grassroots football development program” and example of an endeavor between private companies and local governments.

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