Press Release
September 10, 2012


Over 300 students from the different municipalities of Aurora province have participated in the first Aurora Plays Football (APF) program, a three-month workshop which was successfully concluded last Saturday.

Said workshop which began last July was headed by Coach Maor Rozen, a PRO-level National Football Coach from Spain who was invited by Senator Edgardo J. Angara to provide training to the youth of Aurora as part of his comprehensive grassroots sports development program.

Coach Maor also holds a PRO license from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and has participated in several Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Angara saw the potential of football to become the country's leading sport as it gives emphasis on agility, strength, mental skills and strategy which our young athletes possess. He felt that we have better chances of excelling and succeeding in this kind of sport given our distinct advantage.

"If there is one sport that we have to strengthen and refocus our energies on, it must be football. Filipino athletes possess the kind of talent - size, strength and speed - to compete internationally. Moreover, the physical attributes of internationally-renowned soccer stars compare favorably with the physical stature of the Filipino athlete of today."

Field football and beach football were offered to participants aged 11 and below. An inter-municipality league for the 11-and-under category was also part of the program, with matches being held in the Baler Central School every Saturday of August.

One of the most important elements of the leagues, according to Coach Maor, was that every single player from each of the six competing teams was required to play for at least 15 minutes. This way, he says, they can familiarize themselves with the competitive atmosphere of the actual games which is quite different from the pressure during training sessions.

Angara, who had spearheaded the initiative together with Representative Edgardo "Sonny" Angara and Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, encouraged the participants of the workshop to stay in school as model student athletes during the culminating program yesterday.

"I am very proud to see these young student athletes show such dedication to the sport, which is arguably one of the most popular in the world. The province of Aurora is also very lucky to have such an experienced international coach at the helm of this activity, and my hope is that they learn to apply the discipline they learned from this workshop to all their endeavors," he said.

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