Twelve Filipino tweeners from different regions in the Philippines landed an opportunity to further hone their football skills at the Astro Kem Bola Advanced Training camp in Malaysia through Globe Telecom’s TM Football Para sa Bayan Program. The program was held in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Regarded as the second phase of the Astro Kem Bola program, the Advanced Training camp is an intensive experience that formally immersed the young athletes in the rigors of football. Together with other participants from Singapore and Malaysia, the kids, aged 10-12 years old, received in-depth training revolving around pitch and classroom sessions from Barca Academy coaches who were flown down to Malaysia specifically for the camp.
The participants consisted of James Philip Domens, 11 years old, Pasig City; Charles Cedrick Lajom, 12, Mandaluyong City; Nazer Merendad, 11, Mandaluyong City; Tadashi Rysuei Omiya, 11, Montalban, Rizal; Angelane Joy Ortega, 12, San Carlos City; Elijah Raj Pabalete, 11, San Carlos City; Caitlin Clare Panilan, 10, Quezon City; Roy Panunciar Jr., 11, San Carlos City; Michaella Ann Tolones, 12, Zamboanga City; Winceyette Louise Aleichem Tumala, 12, San Carlos City; Zhaira Gail Velasco, 12, San Carlos City; and Joeny Yap, 11, Batangas City.
“Football is not just a game but an overwhelmingly positive force that can change the lives of these young athletes. That is what we want to do with our sports program. We want to inspire these financially-challenged children to be the best they can be and be instrumental in giving them a brighter future by opening opportunities to them in the sport that they love,” said Miguel Bermundo, Director for Globe Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing.
To scout for these talented players, Globe held football clinics in different parts of the country where the kids were taught how to play football the proper way. Through the clinics which Globe holds every year, TM FPSB is also able to help ingrain in the kids the timeless values of sportsmanship such as teamwork and discipline. This way, they would be able to take responsibility for their actions and not fall into the trap of blaming their opponents for mistakes and failures.
The opportunity to train in Malaysia is an added benefit for the kids who have the right skills and aptitude for the game. This also brings them closer to their dreams and provides them with a chance to help their families through scholarships as they excel in the sport.
“Astro Kem Bola is a regional effort by Yayasan Astro Kasih, in providing an opportunity to children to excel in football. The program provides equal opportunity to girls and boys and has positively impacted more than 17,000 children since its inception in 2012,” said Datuk David Yap, Director of Community Affairs, Astro.
“The Advanced Training camp in Kuala Lumpur presented the participants with a valuable insight into what professional football training is like. We hope the priceless experience of training under the eyes of world-class coaches will inspire them to fulfill their sporting goals. Thanks to our regional partners like Globe, we are confident that the reach of the Astro Kem Bola program can extend even further to more children from underserved communities in the Philippines. Astro hopes this opportunity will be a stepping stone for children in the region to achieve greater heights for themselves, as well as their respective nations,” he concluded.
Since 2016, Globe has been working with Yayasan Astro Kasih; the corporate foundation and corporate social responsibility arm of Astro, a Malaysian media and entertainment company with presence in the ASEAN region, via their Astro Kem Bola program. This initiative is to promote sports development and the intellectual, emotional, and social enrichment of the young people who want to become good in it. Selected girls and boys from the Advanced Training camp will have a chance to further their training with Barca Academy; the renowned youth academy of Futbol Club Barcelona in Spain for 10 days later this year.
“I learned a lot of things about football such as how to quickly play the ball and move it around. I became adept in controlling the ball and in passing it to the right team player. I really wish I can make it to Barcelona,” said Tadashi, talking about his experience in Malaysia.
“I just didn’t learn skills but respect for my teammates as well, whether they are my countrymen or from the other countries,” Roy added.
Zhaira agreed: “I cultivated a lot of Singaporean and Malaysian friendships. I learned to see things through their eyes.”
Caitlin emphasized: “One important thing I learned is to enjoy the game and keep on improving my play, even if I lose. You don’t advance by blaming other people.”