By Charles Raymond A. Maxey
DAVAO City's young football players take center stage anew when the 1st Sakya Fil-Chinese Football Festival that will kick off on February 13 at the Tionko grounds.
Michelle Uy, team manager of the organizing Philippine Academy of Sakya Football Club, said Sunday that competing in the one-day tournament are the city's different schools.
Confirming their participation thus far are the Atene de Davao University, Abbas Montessori, Southpoint and Philippine Women's College (PWC), according to Uy.
The event, which is one of the activities to highlight the Chinese New Year on December 14, will have the boys 16, boys 14, boys and girls 12, boys and girls 10, mixed 8 and mixed 6 categories. Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers.
Uy said they are staging the tournament to help in the development of football in Davao City and to show to everyone that the sport is alive among the Chinese community.
"We are here to support football and we also want to prove that even if we don't have a field, we can play and excel in the sport," Uy said.
She said the support extended by the parents of the players really contributed a lot in their quest to help develop the sport in their school and transform the children into better players.
The Sakya Football Club was formed just last year and already the team has improved a lot under the supervision of Uy and Mary Tan, her co-manager.
Sakya FC competed in the 2009 Alaska Cup, the prestigious annual football tournament among the country's junior booters, and in the Rizal Football Cup and De La Salle Zobel Football Festival wherein it placed third in the boys 10.
In the coming festival, Sakya FC will compete in the 6, 8 and 10 categories. The team is mentored by Alex Adolfo.
Meanwhile, Davao Football Association general secretary Erwin Protacio said the tournament offers limited slots, thus, teams are encouraged to sign up early. Registration fee for category is P300 and deadline for submission of entries is 3 p.m. on February 10.
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