Some of the biggest stars in the football universe in the 2011 Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy descended at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to spend time with 200 football-loving children during the special Alaska Football Power Camp held last Friday, Dec. 2. Alaska Milk partnered with the LA Galaxy to give kids (ages 6 to 14 years old) a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience according to Alaska Milk Vice President for Marketing Blen Fernando.
“We really want Alaska sports to aspire to benchmark with the best teams in the world. This is an inspiration to the kids that they cannot stop at certain levels. They have to train continuously. They have to focus on becoming the best in their sport,” said Fernando.“The players of the LA Galaxy are very disciplined. They will prove to be an inspiration. While it (football camp) was only two hours long it was a good beginning for the kids.”
The camp afforded the kids the chance to be coached by some of the world’s best football players in David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane on how to kick, pass and how to handle the football not only in drills but brief scrimmages on the Rizal Memorial pitch.
“There you go, there you go. That’s how you do it,” said a jubilant Donovan in admiration as he congratulated one of the children in his team who back-heeled the football in between the cones to score a goal during a scrimmage.
Instead of just hearing lectures the children were taught first-hand, learning the value of determination, teamwork, hard work and discipline through their interaction with the LA Galaxy players.
“The children out here today are incredible. It’s amazing how positive the energy the children have. They are so happy to be out here in the field today,” said Beckham
who visibly enjoyed being with the children giving them high fives as they engaged in friendly banter.
The LA Galaxy will play an exhibition match at the same venue the following day against the Philippine national team Azkals. The Philippines is the Galaxy’s second stop in their 2011 Asia-Pacific Tour.
The LA Galaxy won 1-0 in their first game against a selection from the Indonesia national team.
Members of the Azkals confessed their elation at the chance to play against their idols. But they promised to play as hard as they could and provide the LA Galaxy some
stiff competition.“Pagkatapos ng game. pwedeng magpa-autograph. Pagkatapos ng game pwedeng magpa-picture. But during the game, kailangan professional,” said national team striker Phil
Younghusband.Fernando noted that Alaska has the Jr. NBA in basketball. Alaska is looking for that world class standard to partner with in football here in the Philippines.
“We have the biggest football tournament in the Philippines and we want to raise the level of all our activities for football. Okay na kami sa basketball, sa football naman. We had a team in the UFL last year, the Alaska Lions. But we believe we have to start with the kids to be able to bring out good football players in the future,” said Fernando.
“In football we’re starting with the kids. Football is a growing sport here in the Philippines. It’s good to start with the kids so they will learn the right values and give importance not just to material things.”
Alaska Milk Corporation teamed up with former professional football player Tomas Lozano to create the Alaska Football Power Camp which holds training programs during the summer months in Alabang, Fort Bonifacio and other venues all over the country.The culminating activity of the Alaska Football Power Camp is the Alaska Football Festival which is held every May. Alaska’s football program is supported by the Makati Football School and Alabang Football School.