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Tribune News Network
More than 600 children from underprivileged communities attended the inaugural Generation Amazing National Festival in the Philippines.
The event, which is held on an annual basis in countries with a Generation Amazing presence, brings together youth coaches and programme partners with the aim of showcasing football’s power to unite communities and promote equal opportunities.
Cebu City hosted the event, which focused on youth participation and leadership, and was attended by 30 Generation Amazing youth coaches.
Generation Amazing youth ambassadors Jean Paul Masubay and Jhean Nieras Hessel were strongly involved in preparations for the event, which was organised in collaboration with FundLife International – a community-based organisation which uses sport to provide equal opportunities and provide access to quality education.
Masubay said, “We have had the chance to introduce Generation Amazing and football for development to coaches, players and also different communities in Cebu. It is great to see kids as young as five years old playing football.”
The festival is specially targeted at young leaders and seeks to delve into exploring the power of football’s ability to inspire, educate and empower.
Marko Kasic, founder and managing director of FundLife International, said: “Sport, and football in particular, is incredibly powerful in bringing people together and showing them what is possible. We’re excited to bring the festival to Cebu City, where we are able to help generate educational and employment opportunities for young people.”
The festival began on December 6, 2018 with a two-day educational and training seminar for the youth coaches. The training centred on enabling the coaches to oversee a futsal tournament for 600 players.
In addition to welcoming children from across the Philippines, the event also represented an important opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of Generation Amazing’s impact in the country. Last year, the programme positively impacted the lives of more than 7,000 young people and is hoping to increase that figure in 2019 and beyond.
There are plans to open a Generation Amazing community centre and football pitch is Tacloban, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the Philippines. The facility will serve as a valuable resource for residents of five nearby communities. The pitch will cater for people’s love of football and basketball, which is hugely popular in the country.
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