• Davao del Norte grassroots football program booms

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    The grassroots football program in Davao del Norte is exhibiting growth according to Davao del Norte Football Association (DavNor FA) President Renato Cosmod.

    Cosmod said that the football festivals that they regularly hold contributed a lot to the popularization of the sport in the province.

    “It’s a big help for the development of football here in our region. Festivals like this are good for developing the talents of the kids especially during their growing up years,” Cosmod said in an interview with The Manila Times during the Tagum City leg of Football For A Better Life (FFABL).

    Little Azkals standout Agiel Rojo of South Cotabato (right) mentors a young booter from Davao del Norte in the recently concluded Football For A Better Life leg in Tagum City on Sunday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“When we first started here, we only had one or two teams but right now we already reached 100 teams. It really is a big help for us. Festivals like this are something that the kids look forward to,” he added.

    Cosmod said that the holding of football festivals also developed the competitiveness of the clubs under DavNor FA.

    “When they only play against each other, they will not be able to upgrade their skills, aptitude and knowledge in the sport. In the festivals, they have a chance to play against each other,” he said.

    Cosmod revealed that the DavNor FA has adopted several other programs to propagate the sport in Davao del Norte.

    “For this year, we already conducted three grassroots development events in relation to the Kasibulan program of our football federation,” he said.

    Kasibulan, the flagship grassroots initiative of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) in coordination with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, aims to promote football in the far-flung provinces of the Philippines.

    The Kasibulan program boasts of high turnout according to Cosmod.

    “In New Corella, we had about 300 participants and 50 coaches. In Kapalong, we had the same number of participants, more or less, plus 60 coaches. Last October, we also had one in Carmen.”

    “We already trained an additional 180 coaches for football and about 900 kids. This is from the program supported by the PFF. I’m very happy with this development.”

    Cosmod explained that the holding of regular tournaments would determine the level of the progress of the participating teams.

    “Besides the festivals, we also have here the grassroots league in the Under-12 level, which is ongoing. We also have the youth league and the men’s and women’s open.”

    Cosmod said that there is a plan to add one more leg to the program in the next few months.

    “We are still requesting the PFF through the general secretary to give us one more leg.”

    He cited the future sites of Kasibulan, adding that they also plan to bring football to mountain communities.

    “We are planning to have three more grassroots football programs for the months of December, January and February. We have already identified Sto. Tomas, Talaingod and Dujali as potential areas of development. The indigenous people are another potential place of football development. I have gone there and I saw that there are a lot of kids there and there is a playing field in front of their school and their church,” he ended.

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