The Philam Life 7s Football League, through its title sponsor, brought the AIA-Tottenham partnership to its games by holding a two-hour football clinic at the McKinley Hill Stadium last Sunday prior to their Match Day 10 schedule.
Spearheaded by the Tottenham Hotspurs’ Global Football Development coaches Anton Blackwood and Shaun Harris, participants from the Taguig National High School had a hands-on experience as they were taught football basics.
Present during the clinic were Philam Life CEO Kelvin Ang and CMO Leonard Tan. Commissioner and founder Anton Del Rosario and player representatives from each of the club teams in the men’s and women’s divisions of the 7s Football League helped facilitate the event.
“Not known to many, Philam Life formed a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur way back in 2017. These guys have been moving around Asia and Philippines is their 13th country now,” said Tan.
“The love for football, the universal game, (is something) we have to promote here in the Philippines. We were lucky also that we partnered with (7s FL) and we told Anton (Blackwood) and Shaun (Harris) that this is the perfect time to have the kids here and give them two international coaches who are very good at their jobs so that we can promote a healthier, longer, and better lives.”
The event was made possible by the AIA-Hotspurs partnership. Since their tie-up with the English Premier League squad Hotspurs, AIA made an effort to spread football awareness across Asia by having coaches hold programs and related activities for participants from different parts of the continent.
AIA is the parent company of Philam Life, and the latter coordinated with the 7s Football League to make sure the Hotspurs’ program would also be part of Season 3.
Both Harris and Blackwood made the most out of their time at the 7s Football League and saw encouraging signs when it comes to growing the sport in the Philippines.
“I think first and foremost, just the energy and the smiles of the faces. They just have the passion to come play football and express themselves. They might not be the best players (yet), but the attitude to go out and just give it a go is the most important factor for me,” said Harris.
“We traveled out to countries like the Philippines and host football clinics to demonstrate what we do back home at Tottenham.”
Tottenham has worked with over 10,000 participants and 500 coaches in the past year.
“I think if the kids can come in and play in an environment that allows them to be able to express themselves and demonstrate what they can do to have fun, I think that’s the foundation. and that would make them more likely to continue to play and hone their skills for the long-term and maybe they can become professionals and represent the Philippines in the international level,” said Blackwood.