Football Manila, one of the country’s largest amateur football groups, aims to promote football in a basketball-crazy Philippines.
Football Manila’s project, which started as a small play-for-all football program in 2011, aims to educate the general public about the basics of the sport and provide a venue where enthusiasts can play. The group conducts training sessions to football lovers and people who want to coach their own teams in the sport.
“Basically, we cater to everyone. So whether you want to do open play, coaching, tournaments, you want to do leagues, we just provide that to everyone on a amateur level,” said Filipino-British Oliver Lewis, one of the founders of Football Manila.
Lewis added that one of the objectives of the group is to make football available to everyone.
“We want to make everything about football accessible to the community. We just started kids coaching, as well and we also do a lot of corporate social responsibility in terms of football,” he said.
With just six trainees in the first few months, Football Manila, to cater a growing number of enthusiasts, is now conducting training sessions three times a week, according to Lewis.
Besides the weekly open-play gatherings they hold at the BGC Turf, Emperador Stadium or at the Chelsea pitch in Circuit Makati, Football Manila now also has a team that competes in the second division of the Weekend Football League.
“Hopefully, we can make football a bit more popular here in the Philippines,” Lewis concluded.