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Don Bosco gives poor kids new hope in Alaska football

Two kids vie for ball control in one of games of the 20th Alaska Milk Football Cup at the Alabang Country Club. The longest-running and most successful grassroots-development program in local football drew 6,150 players from 410 teams last weekend.  JUN MENDOZA  

MANILA, Philippines - They say football is a game of life.

It rings true for coach Michael Ramos and the poor kids from Don Bosco Foundation in Alabang.

“We have a team here from Don Bosco composed of children who couldn’t afford school but who are also now in football,” said Ramos in Filipino during the three-day Alaska Football Cup at the Alabang Country Club grounds over the weekend.

The 27-year-old Ramos himself was once a poor kid before finding football as his ticket to having education and eventually a better life.

“Col. (Roy) Auro Sr. is my head coach since I was young. He funded my education with a promise that I repay him by teaching football to underprivileged children for free,” said Ramos. “It’s really our dream, teaching kids who couldn’t afford school.”

Ramos and his Don Bosco team was one of the hundreds of squads that saw action in the 20th edition of the Alaska Football Cup, considered the country’s biggest football event for children of various ages.

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“This marks another monumental event for Alaska. We have 410 teams and a total of 6,150 football players together in one venue, all united by their love for football,” said Alaska Milk Corp. president and CEO Wilfred Uytengsu.

“It is of great pride to witness how the Alaska Sports Program has engaged young athletes into this kind of culture, and how they live by the values inherent in sports,” he added.

Ramos and his Don Bosco team were just too glad to be participants of Alaska’s nationwide football program.

“It’s already a blessing just being here and given the chance to play the sport. But it satisfies me more being here to help these kids realize their dreams the way I’ve realized mine,” said Ramos.

 

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