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Archive for March, 2013

PAGCOR-FUNDED KASIBULAN PROJECT TRAINS FUTURE FOOTBALL SUPERSTARS

by on Mar.25, 2013, under PAGCOR CSR

After losing his father when he was barely five years old, Julius Ritchie Balucan was introduced to the football sport by his uncle who wanted to help him cope with the loss.

The sport was intially intended to relieve Julius of emotional pain. The game eventually became a passion for the young boy from Dipolog City. Now 12 years old, Julius says the game of football has taught him the importance of hard work, discipline and self-worth.

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Because of his talent and love for the game, Julius was granted a high school athletic scholarship by the De La Salle Dipolog. “Dahil sa football, makakapagtapos ako ng high school sa magandang paaralan. Malaking tulong ito sa aking pamilya dahil umaasa lang kami sa tulong ng mga kamag-anak namin at sa pagbenta ng camote-que para matustusan ang pag-aaral namin at pang araw-araw na pamumuhay,” he shared.

Julius is now one of the nearly¬†60,000 football enthusiasts from all over the country who signed up for the Kasibulan Grassroots Football Program, a Philippine Football Federation (PFF) initiative which aims to develop Filipino football talents aged six to 12. The Kasibulan project received a P20 million funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) when it was launched in February 2012. The PFF recently organized the first PAGCOR-funded Regional Festival of Football (FOF) for 2013 to serve as a training pool for the country’s best football player aged six to 12.

Search for world-class football players

Coach Norben Patangan shared that through the nationwide football festivals, the PFF will pick 21 young football players who will make it to the national team that will represent the country in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2014 Championship U14 qualifier in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on May 28. The national team will test their skills against other teams from Myanmar, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Timor-Leste.

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Ang FOF ay nagsisibling training pool ng mga kabataan mula sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa. Ang mga batang nandito ngayon ay ang pinakamagagaling sa rehiyon nila. These kids will be screened to know who we can possibly include in our national football team. Of course, these football festivals also help train all the kids who enlisted for the program,” Patangan explained.

A series of football festivals were held during the first quarter of 2013 in Davao, Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Tarlac, North Cotobato, Dipolog and Cagayan de Oro. Apart from skills assessment and training, the participants also played a seried of small-sided matches under the guidance of their mentors.

According to Patangan, the 2,195-strong Dipolog Football Assosciation of Zamboanga del Norte has the largest number of participants in the Kasibulan Program.

Bright future for promising sportsmen

Patangan – who is also Julius’ coach – is happy that children specially those from less privileged families are given better opportunities through grassroots sports development programs like Kasibulan.

Tuloy-tuloy na ito towards ‘Project 2019′.¬† This summer, nagagamit na namin ang mga tulong ng bigay ng PAGCOR. Lahat ng karunungan na naibigay natin sa mga bata through the PAGCOR-sponsored Grassroots Development Officer Training Course, which all Kasibulan coaches have undergone, ay nagagamit na rin namin,” Patangan added.

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The Program is also a step towards realizing PFF’s ultimate goal of developing world-class Filipino football talents capable of competing globally.

Nais natin makakuha ng talento mula sa grassroots na tubong Pilipino talaga. Football is one of the fast-rising sports in the country. Nakita natin na malaki ang ipinagbago nito simula noong makilala ang Azkals. The mission of PFF is to produce homegrown Filipino talents,” Patangan cited.

“Right after the PAGCOR-initiated conference in Cebu. everyone saw what this project is all about. I am very thankful to PAGCOR for sponsoring this project. Hopefully in the future, madami pang mga bata ang mabiyayaan ng project na ito,” he said.

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