For some, football is more than just a game – it’s life.
There are various reason why football is called the beautiful game. Yes, one of them are the moments where thousands of people hold their breaths in anticipation of every play. Yes, one of them are the roaring cheers when the goal hits the net. Yes, one of them are the way teams work together in order to defend with tenacity and to surge forward for the win. However, the true beauty of the game is how it can bring all of these together and leave you with more than just memories once the game ends.
Football that honors the process more than it does the result, enabling people to learn things beyond strategy, statistics, and probabilities. It’s a sport that teaches values such as leadership, discipline, hard work, determination, teamwork, and sportsmanship – values that can help people on and off the field. For those who discovered their passion early in their life, it can set the stage for what tomorrow has to offer.
At the recently concluded 2015 Alaska Football Cup, Zike Baoy, mother of 10-year old Viggo, shared with playPH how football has helped her son beyond the sport, “Through football, my son was able to learn values such as camaraderie and leadership. He’s the only kid from his school who joined the club and he gets to meet a lot of different kids from other schools. It also taught him about leadership which he applies in school by leading small groups when they have tasks. Just like in football, you cannot win alone. You need to work as a team.”
Being one of the country’s most prestigious football development programs, this year’s edition of the Alaska Football Cup celebrated its 20th anniversary by welcoming its largest number of participants to date, with over 6,000 coming from all over the country. With the national team Philippine Azkals leading the charge as they compete for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their rally cry, #WeBelieve, fittingly resonates how football enthusiasts in the country have high hopes not just for the team, but for the game they have started to embrace.
Widely regarded as the most followed sport in the world, football has united people from different walks of life – turning players into brothers, and turning fans into a family. We witness the rigors teams have to go through in preparation for each game, the moments where strangers cry together in defeat and celebrate in victory, and the passion shared by billions that are in full display in every play.
Just like how every goal is scored, it takes a lot more than desire to win in life. We must treasure the process before we get to savor the victory. Football is more than just a game – it’s the beautiful game of life.