The second season launch of the Ambassadors Cup at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) was an indication of greater things to come for the tournament, with the presence of eight participating embassies.
The project was made official with the signing of the memorandum of agreement among the project’s partner institutions as represented by Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, president of UA&P Foundation; Michael Kevin Goco of the Henry V. Moran Foundation; and Nicholas Sylvester Reyes, director of Team Socceroo Football Club.
Gracing the event were Ambassadors of the embassies of Timor Leste, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile; and representatives of the embassies of South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Myanmar.
Also present were community leaders and children from Gawad Kalinga Tatalon (the team sponsored by the Embassy of Indonesia in Season 1) who played against a new team in this cup, Gawad Kalinga Hilaga in the Under-11 division friendly match.
UA&P launched the Ambassadors Cup—in collaboration with the participating embassies and with the support of the Philippine Football Federation—to reach out to children from underprivileged communities and foster in them a love for virtues and values through this beautiful sport.
As Dr. Mariano said in his speech, “This project is not ultimately about football—or futsal—but about the message that the sport may be brought to convey and the unique power the sport has in delivering it . . . We are all now here eager to work with our futsal kids as they, in their own community, help gather a barrio into a team and spread the joy of working together towards a shared victory.”
The first Ambassadors Cup that culminated on May 10 saw the participation of 11 embassy-supported teams. The 2015 Ambassadors Cup secured the backing of the embassies of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, and the United States of America.
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Quick facts on the Ambassadors Cup What is it?
The Ambassadors Cup is a grassroots outreach project aimed at fostering in children from underprivileged communities a love for virtues and values through futsal (indoor football) training and competition.
How does it work?
Participating embassies adopt underserved communities in Manila and oversee the youth’s general grassroots football training for six weeks before competing against teams from the other communities during the Ambassadors Cup tournament. Embassies may partner with communities of their choice or find suitable communities with the help of the organizers.
How does it help the communities?
Through training and other character-building sessions organized by the embassies and partner institutions, the children enjoy the physical benefits of participating in regular sports activities while they gain confidence, skills, and virtues such as teamwork, discipline, and leadership. The Ambassadors Cup slogan, “Teach Belief,” is about imparting to the youth the strength to believe in themselves and their ability to improve their lives.
Which embassies have participated in the Ambassadors Cup?
Participants of the first Ambassadors Cup include the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
How did the project come about?
The project was inspired by the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, which made contact with local communities and supported children’s futsal training starting late 2012. UA&P decided to build on these pioneering efforts by organizing the Ambassadors Cup, allowing more embassies to join in and reach out to more communities.
Who are the organizers?
The Ambassadors Cup is organized by the University of Asia and the Pacific, Team Socceroo Football Club, and The Henry V. Moran Foundation.
The University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) is a private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning that offers some of the most outstanding academic programs in Asia. Founded in 1967 as the Center for Research and Communication, it provides a powerful combination of liberal education and professional specialization.
Team Socceroo FC is a football club based in Manila, Philippines established in 2005. It was founded by the Reyes brothers led by Jose “Wool” Reyes. These brothers formed a team together with their friends and old teammates from football powerhouse PAREF Southridge School to continue playing the beloved game they were deeply passionate about.
The Henry V. Moran Foundation is a non-profit organization which was established in 2009 as a means of helping improve the plight of the poor through community development, education, and livelihood.