Alaska Football Cup: Challenging tomorrow’s champions

The 22nd Alaska Football Cup not only aims to develop kids but also promote an active and healthy lifestyle through sports and proper nutrition through Alaska Milk (Photo by Jamil Buergo)

 

The biggest and longest-running grassroots development program of Philippine football has again gathered close to 4,000 participants and 328 teams as it successfully staged its 22nd edition of the Alaska Football Cup last November 25-26 at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

The two-day festival, presented by Alaska Milk Corporation, is unarguably the biggest, competitive football tournament in the country where players aged 7-17 gather together every year to enjoy the game and, at the same time, test their skills in a competitive environment.

Unlike other grassroots sports programs that focus on individual play, the AFC’s team events format puts a premium on developing teamwork and sportsmanship.

To further inspire the participants to aspire for excellence, Alaska has put the stakes higher as the winning girls’ team gets the chance to participate in the most illustrious youth football event in the world — the Gothia Cup in Sweden.

Two outstanding alumni of the tournament—Sandro Reyes and Sarah Castaneda—had already experienced the world-class Gothia Cup.

The Alaska Football Cup, organized by the Makati Football Club, is part of the Alaska Football Power Camp, a sports training camp which aims to inspire children to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Alaska is doing its part in nation-building. Through youth sports development programs, Alaska is able to help nourish children for them to develop into champions in the field of interest and, in general, in life,” said Ms. Blen Fernando, Vice President for Marketing of Alaska.

The Alaska Football Cup was born in 1995 when Alaska Milk Corporation tapped former professional international football player Tomas Lozano in leading the growth of grassroots football in the country. From then on, it has become a vital part of the Alaska Power Camp.

Alaska Football Cup Tournament Director Tomas Lozano (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
Alaska Football Cup Tournament Director Tomas Lozano (Photo by Jamil Buergo)

Tournament Director Tomas Lozano, who has been at the forefront of local grassroots development of football in the country, wants to see more local talent that can play for the National Team in the near future. Lozano is speaking of the likes of Aly Borromeo and Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong, who before playing for the Philippine Azkals first played in the early years of Alaska Football Cup. “As you can see, we have more ‘Azkals’ in the team” says Lozano, referring to the foreign-based players of the National Football Team. “But sooner, I believe the number of Azkal players will be reduced until we all have the wonderful Filipino kids from our country” he adds.

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