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Philippine Football Federation receives 2nd Asian Football Confederation Grassroots Award

Photo Caption: Philippine Football Federation Mariano “Nonong” Araneta receives the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Recognition Award for Grassroots at the recently concluded AFC Awards 2016 from AFC Vice President Winston Lee Bon Aun.  (photo from AFC Awards) 

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) was recently recognized for its achievements in football grassroots development when it received the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Recognition Award for Grassroots (Developing category) at the AFC Awards 2016 held in Abu Dhabi. Present to receive the trophy was PFF President Mariano “Nonong” Araneta. This is the second time that the PFF has received an AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots. The first was in 2014.

According to the to the AFC website, the PFF was cited for its “multiple activities (that) involved participants all over the country and benefitted from the help of other regional football associations as well as the establishment of excellent partnerships with government agencies and ministries for support.”

The PFF has 33 province-members each with its own grassroots development officer (GDO) who organizes grassroots festival courses and festivals for coaches and teachers, and young players (ages six to 12 years old). It began its grassroots program, called Kasibulan, in the 1990s and the program has continued up to the present, thanks to the support of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Department of Education.

Every year, the PFF mounts more than 60 grassroots courses and festivals. From 2012 to November 2016, the PFF Grassroots program has trained 13,680 teacher-coaches for football, while 83,408 kids from all over the Philippines have experienced the PFF Kasibulan Program.

In a message printed in the upcoming PFF Grassroots Handbook, PFF President Mariano Araneta said, “The awards are a testament to our commitment to the Filipino kids all over the country. They attest PFF’s commitment to support football at the grassroots level. The future of young Filipinos can only be brighter through a strong Philippine Grassroots Football Program.”

In a message in the same book, PFF General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes called on stakeholders to keep supporting Philippine football, especially the grassroots programs. “It is important that it becomes an effort of not just one or some, but a collective action of everyone to ensure commitment and sustainability which are factors for the continued growth of the sport.”

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