Aguilas Supporters Wednesday – FOOTBALL FOR HUMANITY
November 26, 2018
I had recently watched football only on television, during the World Cup Russia, where it was torture to keep awake at 3 in the morning. While the games were indeed exciting, it was difficult to get into “raving fan” mood as my body was telling me to shut off. That was not the case on the afternoons that I watched the Davao Aguilas successfully battle their rivals for the Copa Paulino Alcantara.
The Aguilas game with the Laguna Stallions was held in spanking new Binan Stadium, and my boss, Football for Humanity founder Chris Thomas, and our Davao friends – Hope and Vince, from the Mindanao Peace Council, were speechless and envious at Laguna’s spanking new football facility. Their admiration soon evolved into thrill, as we watched the game with two dozen young football fanatics – the boys from Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation in Alabang. We were all “guests” of the Aguilas, and we were all promised after game hospitality on the pitch, with our idols. The boys were obviously much better at watching football, as they were totally engaged and happy to be Aguilas flag-bearers. Tireless fan engagement was over-all maestro, teaching us how to properly cheer and rally the crowd with signature Davao Aguilas yells. I’ve never seen a more devoted and spirited top fan than what I have seen. His amazing energy came through again, during the Sunday match the Rizal Stadium, with JPV Marikina. This time, we had 40 tiny guests from Virlanie Foundation, some of whom claim to have been trained by no less than our dear friend, Aguilas Coach Leigh Manson. Coach Leigh! Coach Leigh! They chorused, each time the Aguilas scored and Manson showed his approval. This afternoon’s cheering was top notch as it had percussion drumming away the entire time.
After the game, our beneficiaries were treated to a special photo op with the Aguilas players. I’m certain that these little boys and girls will remember this moment forever, when they were able to touch and “high-five” their heroes after watching them WIN. Thank you to the entire Aguilas team and management for providing these precious experiences for our beneficiaries!
In less than a week, I had watched 3 live football matches with children who had come from difficult backgrounds, many of them orphans. I realize that on top of the opportunity of seeing the best Filipino players in action, my biggest reward was seeing the joy in the faces of the little ones. This is the hidden power of sports – the ability to bring genuine joy and inspiration. I hope we can continue to do the same for many other hopeful boys and girls. Congratulations, Davao Aguilas!
Football for Humanity Foundation is a charity dedicated to using football and the power of play to create personal and social transformations. It is registered in the United Kingdom and the Philippines, and may be reached at www.footballforhumanity.org.uk, www.facebook.com/footballforhumanity.
Mr. Chris Thomas (Chairman and Founder – Football for Humanity)
Ms. Belle Tiongco (Co-Founder - Football for Humanity)