Society
December 11, 2015

Field of Dreams

Words by Mio Borromeo

Coca Cola FEMSA teamed up with Foundation Real Madrid and Roxas Foundation, Inc. to open their second Social Sports School program in Negros last October. Their goal, however, isn’t to raise the next generation of star athletes, but the country’s future leaders

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They are not looking for Ronaldo.

Even if there is a child who can promise the speed and skill of Real Madrid’s star player, the Foundacion is more interested in a child who can promise a better performance in school, a better dream for his or her family, and a better future for the country.

Fundacion Real Madrid is looking for a president among the underprivileged children of La Carlota, Negros Occidental.

With the help of Coca Cola FEMSA and the Roxas Foundation, the group has been training school teachers over the past year to coach their students in playing football, a new way of integrating their classroom lessons and studies of values. It’s the second implementation of the three companies’ Social Sports School and an extension of their corporate social responsibility programs, the first being in Batangas last year.

“We are also working very strongly in developing abilities in kids to take the right choices in life. This program is about that,” said Juan Dominguez, corporate affairs director of Coca-Cola FEMSA. “Many kids do become better people through something that is very important, which I think is an active and healthy lifestyle. Twenty years ago, we did not have tablets and electronic devices, and even televisions were not widespread. So kids were out on the streets playing.” Having grown up in Colombia as a big football fan, the Social Sports School is a program close to his heart.

 

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In the latter half of the year, the coaches began holding soccer clinics on Saturdays, an after-school activity that encouraged some sixty indigent students from seven public schools to engage their weekly learnings in a practical way. Coaches, for instance, would instruct teams to sort themselves according to parts of the Philippines or to continents, enabling the kids’ knowledge of grade-school geography. The program has also enabled them to learn values in an engaging way, and by playing in a team, the kids have learned how to engage in team dynamics and community development.

“The program does not only benefit the children but also the people the children interact with. We’re talking about their siblings, we’re also talking about their parents, and their friends in the different schools. Because these programs are not school-based, but they’re out of school, you generally have an impact that is beyond the four walls of the classroom,” said Dominguez.

Roxas Foundation President Bea Roxas is pleased by how overwhelmingly positive the results of the program have turned out: “Lately, we’ve received feedback from the Social Sports School football training program that pupils are more inspired to go to school every day, which improves their scholastic performance.” There are plans to take the next step with this program by holding the first La Carlota friendly inter-school competition in 2016.

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Bea Roxas, Juan Dominguez, and Rosa Roncal represent the Roxas Foundation, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Fundacion Real Madrid, respectively.

 

 

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