MANILA, Philippines – Students from the Aurora province got their chance to learn football from a UEFA-licensed coach through the Aurora Plays Football (APF) program, which concluded last Saturday.
Over 300 students participated in the three-month workshop, which kicked off last July and was headed by Coach Maor Rozen, a UEFA-licensed coach who handles the Philippines’ under-19 squad.
Rozen was invited to spearhead the workshop by Sen. Edgardo J. Angara.
In a statement, Angara said he sees the potential of football to become the “leading sport” of the Philippines, noting that young Filipino athletes possess the agility, strength, mental skills and strategy to excel and succeed in the sport.
“If there is one sport that we have to strengthen and re-focus our energies on, it must be football,” Angara said. “Filipino athletes possess the kind of talent – size, strength and speed – to compete internationally.”
“Moreover, the physical attributes of internationally renowned soccer stars compare favorably with the physical stature of the Filipino athlete today,” he added.
The participants aged 11 years and below could choose between field football and beach football.
The APF program also included an inter-municipality league for the U-11 division, with games being held every Saturday of August at the Baler Central School. Six teams competed in the league.
Razon required every player from each of the team to play for at least 15 minutes per game during league competitions. This was done to familiarize the players with the atmosphere of actual games.
In the closing ceremony, Angara encouraged the young football players to stay in school and act as “model student athletes.”
“I am very proud to see these young student athletes show such dedication to the sport, which is arguably one of the most popular in the world,” he said.
“The province of Aurora is also very lucky to have such an experienced international coach at the helm of this activity, and my hope is that they learn to apply the discipline they learned from this workshop to all their endeavors,” Angara said.