FOOTBALL Invitational Tournament organized by Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) kicked off Monday, May 22, at the Ateneo de Davao University football field in Matina, Davao City.
Celebrity football player James Younghusband, team captain of the football club Meralco Manila (formerly Meralco Sparks), and coach Aries Caslib will grace the opening ceremony.
The MPG, program originally designed for girl athletes, now includes male participants born in 2002. The 7-A-Side format event is backed by One Meralco Foundation and Mizuno.
Six teams representing each of the six regions of Mindanao will be competing in a series of nine aside games from May 22 to 26 at the Matina Campus of the Ateneo. These teams are Ateneo de Zamboanga (Zamboanga Peninsula), Iligan Medical Center College (Northern Mindano), Ateneo de Davao (Davao region), Surallah FC (Soccsksargen), Fr. Saturnino Urios University (Caraga) and Maguindanao United FC (Armm).
Storytelling sessions such as leadership skill development, advocating through sports, values formation, among others will also take place in the five-day tournament.
“The goal of the Mindanao Peace Games is to encourage holistic development in our young athletes so they mature not only as good football players but also as responsible, disciplined and peace-loving Filipinos,” said Noli Ayo, Ateneo’s university athletics director and convener of the Games.
On the first day of the event, Younghusband will share his inspiration for pursuing a career in football. He will also entertain questions from the participating young athletes in a question and answer session.
Caslib, meanwhile, will also briefly talk about his experience being at the helm of a national football league team and share some best practices with the coaches of the competing teams.
The best striker, best midfielder, best defender and best goalkeeper of the tournament will be awarded by spikes courtesy of Mizuno. (With PR)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 22, 2017.
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