Over 100 kids join Miguel G. Dizon Cup-A A +A
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
PLAYING enthusiastically before their parents and friends, some 140 underprivileged children participated in the 4th Kopa ng Pagsilang Miguel G. Dizon Cup held last Sunday at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Tondo, Manila.
The kids spent the day showing off their skills in football, not on a grassy field, but on a basketball court as part of the organizers’ goal to inspire them to lead a clean life through futkal (football sa kalye), the country’s equivalent of street soccer.
“They say it's the poor man's sport. It sounds negative but the sport uplifts the lives of the underprivileged. Good international players came from impoverished area and they saw football as a way to get out of poverty,” said Peter Amores, founder of non-government organization Futkal, Inc.
The tournament featured two age brackets (under-15 and under-12) with Leveriza, Payatas FC, Manuel Quezon Elementary School, Dream Big Pilipinas, Futkal Youth Development Program A and B and Laura Vicuña as among the 14 teams that squared off in 10-minute games.
In between, the kids faced tests on football skills such as dribbling, passing and juggling.
Dream Big Pilipinas and Futkal Youth Development Program A eventually ruled the under-12 and under-15 brackets, respectively, as the teams had to survive stiff challenge from their final opponents en route to the title.
Individual awards like best goalkeeper, top scorer and player of the year were also handed out to outstanding kids. They received medals, footballs, shirts and cash.
Those who failed to join the winners circle, however, did not go empty handed. All participants got a bag full of goodies from sponsors.
"Sana nag-enjoy kayong lahat at pagpalain kayo ng Diyos. Sikapin pa natin na gumaling para next year tayo naman ang mag-champion," said tournament patron Francisco Dizon in a speech, who was joined by his wife Joyce Garcia-Dizon and daughters in the awarding ceremony.
The tournament was a yearly tribute to the Dizon couple's late son Miguel, a football aficionado who once played for the Ateneo de Manila High School in the UAAP.
Miguel died of brain aneurysm in November 2008 at the age of 24. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)