The Philippines is about to field its first cerebral palsy football team in the ASEAN Para Games.
Known as the CP Rascals, the team was formed last year by the Henry V. Moran Foundation, the non-profit organization that has long focused on developing football programs for public school youth in the country.
“Our search for players started in March last year after we were appointed by the PHILSPADA (Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled) to form a team to represent the country in the 10th ASEAN Para Games. Our special football arm, CP Football Philippines, toured 12 cities, coordinating clinics and tryouts with the heads and officers of local government units. By July, we had discovered some players and training for the team began,” said Danny Moran, head of the Henry V. Moran Foundation.
The CP Rascals currently has 12 members, with plans to add two more before the ASEAN Para Games begins.
Moran said that they are grateful for the support that private organizations have given for the new team players and coaching staff. He cited insurer Allianz PNB Life, in particular, for providing the CP Rascals’ life, medical, and travel insurance.
“Our main concern was life and accident insurance as bringing football to persons with disability has its risks, especially since training would be from 3 to 6 months,” Moran said.
Aside from the insurance coverage, Allianz gave cash support for the CP Rascals’ football camp and housing.
“It is our honor to support a team that embodies Allianz’ ideal of overcoming life’s challenges in fulfilling one’s dreams. We are giving our para athletes the support to help them achieve their goals in their chosen sport, and we are looking forward to cheering them on in the 2020 ASEAN Para Games,” Allianz PNB Life Chief Marketing Officer Gae Martinez said.
This is not the first time that Allianz and the Henry V. Moran Foundation have worked together in promoting football in the country. For the past three years, they have staged the Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational (ANYFI), a grassroots football program held nationwide. Some of the kids who have participated in the program have gone on to train at the Allianz Explorer Camp in Germany under FC Bayern.
Moran added that it is their dream to continue strengthening the CP Rascals so that they can also participate in the 11th ASEAN Para Games in Vietnam in 2021.
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