Milo-FC Barcelona foot­ball ini­tia­tive set into mo­tion

Business World - - SPORTS - Michael An­gelo S. Murillo

THE re­cently launched foot­ball part­ner­ship be­tween Milo Philip­pines and FC Barcelona got rolling with the con­duct of the train­ing ses­sions in­volv­ing some 140 kids from dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try.

In line with both groups’ shared vi­sion of see­ing chil­dren live bet­ter lives through a more healthy and ac­tive life­style, the pro­gram, dubbed “Road to Barcelona,” was held early this month at the McKinley Hill Sta­dium in Taguig City.

The pro­gram is a four- year val­ues-driven tie-up be­tween Milo Philip­pines and the glob­ally known foot­ball club to de­velop not only the skills of par­tic­i­pat­ing kids but also in­cul­cate in them the val­ues of hu­mil­ity, ef­fort, am­bi­tion, re­spect and team­work.

Dur­ing the train­ing camp held from Sept. 2-3, kids from Metro Manila, Cavite, Iloilo and Cebu gath­ered to train un­der FC Barcelona ( FCB) coaches Ar­nau Blanco and Marti Vila where they hoped to be among those nom­i­nated to the team rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try in the FCB Es­cola Camp in Barcelona hap­pen­ing next month.

Milo Philip­pines will be send­ing a team of 10 kids to par­tic­i­pate in the in­ter­na­tional train­ing camp at Nou Camp. The play­ers to be se­lected will be cho­sen based on the right mix of val­ues (60%) and skill (40%).

From the list, two out­stand­ing team mem­bers will be granted an

all-ex­pense-paid trip in recog­ni­tion of their skills and val­ues. The re­main­ing eight slots will be cho­sen based on the lo­cal camp rank­ing sys­tem.

A se­lec­tion panel led by the MILO FCB Road to Barcelona Team will help iden­tify the play­ers who will be in­cluded in the event. Just as im­por­tant as skill, the prin­ci­pal val­ues that de­fine the spirit of FCB and the essence of MILO, will be in­cluded in the cri­te­rion for se­lec­tion of the said play­ers.

Con­sid­er­ing the scope of their part­ner­ship with FC Barcelona, Milo of­fi­cials said the pro­gram gives added di­men­sion to their lo­cal sports de­vel­op­ment thrust.

“It re­freshes the Milo sports pro­gram con­sid­er­ing that this is the first time that we are deep­div­ing into foot­ball. We’ve al­ways had ev­ery­thing. We have 15 Olympic sports [ for var­i­ous pro­grams]. We have the Milo Marathon for 40 years. Apart from the Philip­pine Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion’s ( PFF) Ka­si­bu­lan pro­gram which we have been sup­port­ing since the ’ 90s this is the only time we have in­vested in a foot­ball pro­gram with the hopes of see­ing our vi­sion through as well as sup­port­ing the PFF in its goal of pro­duc­ing more Filipino play­ers,” said Rob­bie de Vera, Sports Mar­ket­ing Ex­ec­u­tive of MILO Philip­pines, in an in­ter­view with Busi­nessWorld.

“By link­ing with a big foot­ball club like FC Barcelona we be­lieve we can get the word out to more peo­ple and in­spire them,” he added.

On the part of FC Barcelona, the part­ner­ship with Milo Philip­pines was some­thing it had to do, see­ing how noble the cause is and how it is in tune with what the team stands for and the di­rec­tion it is tak­ing.

“You see the kids smil­ing, im­prov­ing, en­joy­ing, try­ing to un­der­stand our phi­los­o­phy, and it re­ally is ful­fill­ing for us coaches. Hav­ing them play to­gether as a team and learn the val­ues and skills in foot­ball is amaz­ing to wit­ness. For us, it is im­por­tant that we help Filipinos ex­pe­ri­ence the Barca way through our pro­gram,” said FCB Es­cola Camp coach Blanco dur­ing the train­ing run. —

FC BARCELONA Es­cola Camp coach Ar­nau Blanco gives in­struc­tions to a par­tic­i­pant in their re­cent train­ing camp done in part­ner­ship with Milo Philip­pines as part of the “Road to Barcelona” pro­gram.

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