MANILA, Philippines — Coca-Cola Cup – the world’s largest grassroots football which champions active healthy lifestyle, encourages values through sports, and celebrates football passion – has finally arrived in the Philippines.
The grassroots football program kicks-off in Taguig City, bringing about the same team spirit, friendship and respect that the Coca-Cola Cup has fostered among 1.3 million teenage players in over 60 countries around the world since it started in Zimbabwe back in 1915. Inspiring young people to be active and healthy through their shared passion for the sport, Coca-Cola Cup presents an opportunity to Filipino teens to pursue their football dream, and along the way, make new friends and recognize the important, complementary roles that form a successful team.
Piloting in Taguig
For the first leg, Coca-Cola Philippines, the local government of Taguig, Loyola Meralco Sparks Academy, and the Dream Big Pilipinas Football Association, have agreed to work together in holding a series of football clinics for around 300 youth aged 13 to 19 years old from public schools in Taguig, and 80 physical education teachers and barangay sports officers.
“We are excited to kick-off the Coca-Cola Cup here in the Philippines. The program is more than just a league or a series of clinics — it is an affirmation of our firm commitment as a Company to promote active, healthy lifestyles and support physical activity programs that inspire our youth to be healthier and happier. Through this, we hope to bring football close to the hearts of Filipinos, and bring together football fans around the country, ’’ said Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Corporate Communication of Coca-Cola Philippines.
Loyola Meralco Sparks Academy will lead in teaching the technical aspects of football while Dream Big Pilipinas Football Association will share lessons in values formation. The clinics will run from November 14, 2015 to December 5, 2015. The 36 best performing players will compete in a final exhibition game on December 6, 2015.
Simon McMenemy, head coach of LMS, shared, “The Coca-Cola Cup is meant to spark and preserve the genuine love for football among the youth. The final game is designed, not so much to reward the winners, but to highlight the part that each and every one play within or outside the pitch.”
Passion meets opportunity
The program opens big opportunities for the most promising players. By the end of the training program, the 36 students will have the chance to be invited into the Loyola Meralco Sparks FC Academy, should elite technical, tactical and psychological standards be met.
At the same time, 20 PE teachers and barangay officers will be selected to facilitate the implementation of the football program at a community level, thereby creating the foundation for football love in the Philippines.
“We share the same goals and aspirations with Coca-Cola for this program. Dream Big Pilipinas Association is a firm believer that talent is abundant in the Philippines and that we only need a good framework to cultivate the best players. We have been doing extensive work with street community teams and leagues. With Coke pushing towards getting the best, undiscovered gems out there through the Coca-Cola Cup program, we may be looking at our future football stars,” adds Miguel N. Bermundo, co-founder of Dream Big Pilipinas Association.
A structured, high-impact program
Around the world, The Coca-Cola Company supports over 280 physical activity and active healthy living programs in 115 countries.
In the past Coca-Cola Philippines has done other football programs including Coca-Cola Football Festival, which ran for three years from 2012 to 2014, and ‘Coke Go for Goal’ back in 1983 where hundreds of school teachers were trained to become football coaches and developed teens to be more active in sports.
“We are more than inspired to recognize the contributions of all players who are the real stars on the pitch, while championing the parents, teachers, coaches, schools, and different associations – like the local government unit of Taguig City, Loyola Meralco Sparks Academy, and Dream Big Pilipinas Association – who are helping teens pursue their passion for sports,” concluded Atty. Tamano.