Meralco’s social development arm One Meralco Foundation and football team Loyola Meralco Sparks are once again teaming up with the Philippine Marine Corps for the annual “Football for Peace,” a sporting event which hopes to hone the football skills of children from conflict areas in the ARMM as well as other provinces where the Marines and the Philippine Army are deployed.
The goal of the festival is to in still the values of sportsmanship, camaraderie, teamwork and discipline in the minds of these young athletes so that they grow up as productive and peace-loving citizens.
More than 200 kids from Sultan Kudarat, Misamis Oriental, Sulu, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Negros Occidental and Palawan were flown to Manila by the Marines for the weeklong event. The kids are grouped into teams and in each team, a civilian and a Marine coach are assigned. They are set to compete with various football clubs from Metro Manila and other nearby provinces in a one-day tournament dubbed “Football for Peace Festival,” which will take place at the football field of the Philippine Marine Corps in Fort Bonifacio on Saturday, April 18.
In preparation for the festival, the kids will undergo a football clinic with the Loyola Meralco Sparks on Wednesday April 15, at the University of Makati Stadium, West Rembo, Makati City where members of the team will teach the young athletes advanced techniques that could help them gain an advantage over their competitors. Also, brothers Phil and James Younghusband of the Sparks will meet with the kids during the training.
One Meralco Foundation and the Meralco Sparks have been partners of the Philippine Marines since the launch of “Football for Peace” in 2011.
“It is a great honor for us to be chosen by the Philippine Marine Corps as their partner in this 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. OMF’s participation in the Football for Peace program is a concrete expression of our commitment to youth development through sports,” said One Meralco President Jeffrey O. Tarayao.
Aside from the football activities, the kids will also embark on a series of educational tours within and around Metro Manila.
The “Football for Peace” clinic is also sponsored by McDonald’s and Gatorade.