PAGCOR-funded Kasibulan project attracts close to 38,000 young football enthusiasts

Monday | October 8, 2012 | 3:00 PM

PAGCOR-funded Kasibulan project attracts close to 38,000 young football enthusiasts
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) coaches from all over the country led by Kasibulan Project’s National Grassroots Officer Aquilino Pastoral (first row, center) and representatives from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) met during a four-day program evaluation conference held recently at the Casino Filipino Mactan. Close to 38,000 young football enthusiasts and 5,000 football teachers and coaches joined in the nationwide PAGCOR-funded Kasibulan project. PAGCOR provided a P20 million funding assistance to PFF for the project.

CEBU CITY – Eight months after the successful launch of the Kasibulan Grassroots Football Program, close to 38,000 Filipino youth and children aged six to 12 years old are now playing football.

The program which was launched in February 2012 received a P20 million funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). It aims to promote the game of football across the country. It is currently being carried out by 33 provincial football associations nationwide under the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

The overwhelming turnout of young football enthusiasts nationwide was announced by the PFF and PAGCOR during a recently concluded Kasibulan program evaluation conference held at the Casino Filipino Mactan from October 2 to 5, 2012.

The PFF reported that apart from the growing number of children and youth who have already enlisted for the program, over 5,000 football teachers and coaches from all over the country have also joined the league of trainers who will carry out the Kasibulan project at the grassroots level.

PAGCOR-funded Kasibulan project attracts close to 38,000 young football enthusiasts

PFF’s National Grassroots Officer Aquilino Pastoral said the four-day evaluation conference enabled them to assess the status of the project. “In totality, the program is very successful. We have activities that are simultaneously happening in the country. We train not only kids but also coaches so that our program will continue to prosper.”

Pastoral cited the PFF wants to strengthen the base of Philippine football at the grassroots. “Someone told us that we are making history even if we don’t realize it. If we can sustain the Kasibulan project through PAGCOR’s help, we can produce more young Filipinos who will be ready for the football world championship in 2019,” he said.

“PAGCOR is making all of this possible. To give importance to PAGCOR’s valuable help in the implementation of this program, we have to do our best,” Pastoral added.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. expressed elation over the positive outcome of the first eight months of the Kasibulan program. “Our corporation has always supported the development of Philippine sports at the grassroots. Football is a promising sport. The recent feat of our national football Team AZKALS in winning the Peace Cup is proof of that.”

Naguiat said that through PAGCOR’s support for the PFF’s Kasibulan project, “we hope to develop the Batang AZKALS. The project is providing venues for young football enthusiasts in different parts of the country to develop their dexterity, skills and passion for football.”

PAGCOR-funded Kasibulan project attracts close to 38,000 young football enthusiasts

Pines Arellano, a football coach from the island-province of Masbate said that through the Kasibulan, the parents of kids who joined the program gained a renewed perception about PAGCOR. “Sinasabi nila na mayroon palang programa ang PAGCOR na labis na nakaka-touch ng buhay.”

Arellano narrated how grassroots football touched the lives of many youth and other sectors of their community. “We have more than 6,000 students, out-of-school youths and people with disabilities who took part in the Kasibulan project. Even kids from remote areas have been reached by this program.”

Arellano shared that many youths in Masbate believe football can be their first step in achieving their dreams. “They believe that even if they are poor, they can get scholarships when they get to college if they become exceptional football players. This is what normally motivates many Masbateños to do what they can for this sport.”

Since its launching, the Kasibulan project has completed 115 Grassroots Course and Festivals (GCF) in various parts of the country. The GCF is a two-day grassroots course for teachers and coaches. It also trains at least 500 kids on basic football skills.

According to Pastoral, PFF plans “to bring the (Kasibulan) program to 44 different venues nationwide so that by the end of October, we can complete 198 festivals with the support of our 33 Provincial Football Associations.”

To further strengthen the Kasibulan program, football coaches believe that grassroots football must also be included in the DepEd’s curriculum. “We want the football project to be a part of the K1 to 12 program of DepEd. If a kid becomes a very good player, he will have a lot of opportunities in the future,” Pastoral added.

Apart from PFF and PAGCOR, the Kasibulan project is also being supported by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Asian Football Development Program of Jordan Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein.

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