Football for Peace, a sporting event dedicated for the children from conflict areas in ARMM, and other provinces where Marines or soldiers were assigned, has been around since 2011, founded by Lt. Col. Stephen Cabanlet, Executive officer of 3rd Marine Batallion.
Asked about the objective of the advocacy, Cabanlet said that it is “changing the perspective of the kids. To enhance the children’s football skills is also the purpose of the program, as well as instilling them with values that will make them productive and peace-loving–sportsmanship, camaraderie, teamwork and discipline.”
Since the launch of the “Football for Peace“, One Meralco has been in partnership with Philippine Marines to support their inspiring initiative. Our shared belief of building the skills of our young people to become responsible, productive and peace-loving citizens will hopefully lead us to a better country, Jeffrey Tarayao, One Meralco Foundation president said. He also added, OMFs participation in the Football for Peace program is a concrete expression of our commitment to youth development through sports.
There are more than 200 kids from different provinces, particularly Sultan Kudarat, Misamis Oriental, Sulu, Zamboanga, Tawi-tawi, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Negros Occidental, and Palawan, gathered to participate in a week-long event. Grouped randomly, children are coached by a civilian and a Marine, and competed in a one-day tournament as a part of the program, at the football field of the Philippine Marine Corps in Fort Bonifacio last Saturday, April 18.
As a preparation, a football clinic was held April 15, 2015 at University of Makati, Oval Field for the participants. With the help of the Loyola Meralco Sparks and Philippine Marines Corps, they taught young athletes advanced techniques that will be helpful to them when they compete. Phil and James Younghusband, both member of Sparks, also helped to train the children in the football field, or the new battle field, as what the marines used to call it.
The kids will not only be enjoying through football activities, but also through series of educational tours within and around Metro Manila.
The event will also not be possible with the help of the sponsors, McDonalds and Gatorade.
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