The Philippine Football Federation (PFF), through the support of Japan Football Association (JFA) formally concluded the JFA-PFF Grassroots Development Programme Webinar Series last Sunday, 6 December 2020.
With amateur football activities still not permitted under the varying degrees of community quarantine restrictions around the country, the grassroots webinar served as an avenue for PFF to reach out to the various Regional Football Associations (RFAs) through their Grassroots Development Officers (GDOs), youth coaches, and youth players.
Over the past seven (7) weeks, the PFF Grassroots Department devised various webinars for the different function areas. The first session was the GDO Online Workshop. The second session focused on the Youth National Team players and coaches, while the third session was attended by youth players endorsed by each RFA and the New Frontier Areas.
“It was a fulfilling duty to conduct the JFA-PFF Grassroots Webinars to reach out to our Grassroots Officers, Youth Coaches, and Youth Players. The participants were able to learn new ways in coping with the pandemic, and at the same time prepare them when they eventually make their return to the field,” said PFF Grassroots Officer David Javellana. “Grassroots football encompasses the bright future for the sport here in the country, and through these webinars we were able to help them in this time of pandemic.”
“We made sure that we were able to provide engaging topics to the participants. In the past few weeks, we learned from our speakers, particularly our players who have shown that no status in life or age is required to effect positive change,” echoed PFF Head of International Relations Maja Año, who helped conceptualize the webinar series. “We may be unable to conduct physical sessions, but there is nothing that cannot stop us in pushing forward our grassroots development programmes through this engaging webinar series.”
Topics such as: health and safety protocols, sports psychology, and coping with the pandemic were discussed to the participants during the webinars. PFF invited the following resource persons to speak on the various topics:
There were also two specialized topics during the webinar series conducted by FIFA and Japan Football Association (JFA). FIFA held a webinar on the Transition from Grassroots Football Development to Amateur Football which was conducted by FIFA Youth Football and Grassroots Manager Dr. Jorge Diaz-Cidoncha Garcia while JFA also presented their Grassroots and Youth Development Program which was delivered by JFA Grassroots Officer Mr. Masao Nakayama. Both specialized webinars were attended by the Grassroots Development Officers and youth coaches nationwide.
PFF also invited several national team players during the webinars for the youth players to share their experiences having been part of the national team setup at the youth or senior level.
The final day of the Grassroots Webinar Series also coincided with the 10th year anniversary of the “Miracle of Hanoi,” a key event in Philippine football history which reinforced the PFF’s mandate to promote the Beautiful Game in the country.
“It was quite fitting that our Grassroots Webinar concluded on the 10th year anniversary of the Miracle in Hanoi,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta. “The milestone remains in the hearts and minds of football stakeholders in the country. It has strengthened the resolve of the PFF to continue to develop the sport in the country through grassroots initiatives. We owe a lot of the football landscape in the country in the last 10 years to those players, who heeded the call of the flag and provided us with that glorious occasion to not just celebrate but inspire the next generation of Filipino football players.”
The webinar series would not have been made possible if not for the support of Japan Football Association and the Regional Football Associations (RFAs).
“The PFF’s Grassroots initiatives would not bear fruit if not for the support of the Japan Football Association and the commitment of the PFF Regional Football Associations to attend and to learn from the experience of the speakers through the Grassroots webinar series,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “We hope that our youth players and coaches get to return to the field at the soonest so that we can continue to develop footballers nationwide.”
“We always considered the health and well-being of each participant, especially our youth players,” said PFF Grassroots Committee Chairman Jay Adriatico. “The Grassroots webinar served as a significant way to communicate to our RFAs as we continue to cope with the pandemic.”