Football hardly caught the fancy of Filipinos until recently, when the country’s national team figured prominently in international competitions. While the growing interest in the sport didn’t come as a surprise, the amount of talent that can be mined, especially among the youth, did.
These talents didn’t come exclusively from Metro Manila. The countryside and other cities outside Metro Manila have become a pool for rising sports stars, with the children providing their parents with the hope of a better future by doing well in school and sports.
Globe Telecom, through its grassroots program TM Sports Para Sa Bayan (TMSPSB), nurtures young football talents like 13-year-old Stephannie Ann Logustua and 12-year-old Elijah Zedric Ballesteros. The program empowers students to continue training for the sport they love and equips them with lessons that they will carry through life.
Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Yoly Crisanto said: “We want to give underprivileged youth an avenue to reach their dreams while enjoying the positive benefits of sports. Through TMSPSB, we hope to make a difference in their lives by providing them with opportunities to train locally and internationally and be recognized for their efforts.”
Logustua and Ballesteros made it to the top of the TMSPSB nationwide search for 12 promising Filipino youth football players who were given a chance to undergo training in Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona through Globe in partnership with Astro Kasih of Malaysia.
From the initial roster of 600 applicants coming from 50 different communities across the country, 10 made it to the five-day training in Kuala Lumpur last year where they joined the rest of the players from Singapore and Malaysia. The list was further trimmed down to the lucky 4 who were sent to train in Barcelona through FCB Escola, the flagship FC Barcelona school in March 2018.
In recognition of the exemplary performance of Logustua and Ballesteros in Malaysia and Barcelona, both were given full scholarships by Colegio de San Jose Recoletos in San Carlos City.
“Malaking pasasalamat sa Globe at dahil sa programa nila nagka chance si Steph na makapagtrain sa Malaysia and Barcelona. Once in a lifetime experience talaga ito na kahit sa panaginip namin ng Daddy niya ay hindi namin kayang matupad – ang maipadala siya sa ibang bansa. Si Steph ay isang good example sa football team at sa mga bata sa school niya. Narecognize din siya ng mayor namin. Sana po ay maexperience din ng ibang bata ang naexperience ni Steph ((We are very grateful to Globe. Its program has given Steph the chance to train in Malaysia and Barcelona. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Even in our dreams, we didn’t think we can send her to other countries. Our city mayor even recognized her. We hope other kids can experience what Steph has experienced),” said Stephanie’s mother, Yvonne, who expressed pride over her daughter’s accomplishments.
Logustua not only excels in football but also in academics where she has recently been elected class president. She also pursues other activities like dancing and futsal. She is part of a dance group in her school and also placed first runner-up in futsal.
On the other hand, the math-loving Zedric is part of the Knights of the Altar and a journalism club. At Grade 7, Ballesteros was elected vice president in his class.
Zedric’s parents also showers him with enormous support every step of the way.
Joel, Zedric’s father said: “Malaki naitulong sa amin ng TM Sports Para sa Bayan at ng Globe Telecom. Mas naging confident siya ngayon, swabe siya sa pag laro ng football, kumbaga mas naging team player siya. Pag natatalo siya, hindi siya affected at gagalingan nalang niya sa next game. (TM Sports Para sa Bayan and Globe Telecom were a great help to us. Zedric is now more confident and a better team player. When he loses, he is not discouraged and even does better in the next game.).”
Two other players who made it to the Malaysia training camp, Steve Lawrence Nieves and Adrian Jupiter Dolor Juanillo, were given partial high school scholarship also by Colegio de San Jose Recoletos
TMSPSB is designed to give underprivileged youth opportunities to beat the cycle of poverty through sports via a series of development programs that involves three of the most popular sports in the country such as basketball, volleyball, and football. It supports UN Sustainable Development Goal Nos. 3 and 17 which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all; and revitalizes global partnerships for sustainable development, respectively.
Globe commits to continuously reaching out to the sports industry not only through consistently supporting its projects but also by helping nurture talents and provide uplifting opportunities and brighter future.