Championing local football: AIA holds football tryouts to help propel Filipino talent to global stage

The Philippine Star
Championing local football: AIA holds football tryouts to help propel Filipino talent to global stage

MANILA, Philippines — AIA Philippines (formerly Philam Life) has always been a steadfast advocate of healthy living. Through the years, the company has embodied this commitment through its AIA Vitality program, and by championing activities that promote total wellness, such as webinars on mental wellness and healthy eating, fitness checks and nutrition consultations, and sponsorship of various sports activities. 

With AIA Group, AIA Philippines’ Hong Kong based parent company, being a principal partner of the English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspurs, the Company sought to create its own mark in the local football community, becoming the title sponsor for the AIA 7s Football League, and now the AIA 7s Super League.

"Team sports such as football are a great way to promote wellness, and bring to life our Purpose of helping people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. Apart from the physical benefits of engaging in the sport, it brings people together in a community, thus supporting mental and community health as well,” said Melissa Henson, AIA Philippines, chief marketing officer. “By bringing football to more communities across the country, we hope to reach more Filipinos and help them improve their health and overall well-being.”

This year, the company took its support for the local football community to another level, and gave enthusiasts an opportunity to join the team representing AIA Philippines in AIA Champs, the intermarket annual tournament hosted by AIA. Here, teams representing various AIA markets from across Asia will compete against each other in a friendly tournament to be held at the Tottenham Hotspur Training Grounds in London.

Last April, aspiring footballers from the AIA Philippines team, AIA customers, and the general public gathered at Atleta63 Football Field in Pasig City to show their football prowess at the tryouts, for the chance to be chosen as one of the seven male and seven female players to fly to London in May as part of team AIA Philippines. 

From over 80 hopefuls who were given a chance to try out, the number was trimmed down to the ten best players from the general public, and joined the top four employees who passed the rigorous selection process.

The final lineup was chosen based on drive and aptitude on the field, using a combined tryout format that makes use of skill drills and scrimmage to shortlist the contenders. The Selection Committee was made up of Shannon Moloney from the Tottenham Hotspur coaching team; Nico Bolzico, AIA Philippines brand ambassador; and Anton del Rosario, AIA 7s Football League Founder, with the assistance of the Maharlika Team.

From top-left: Jo Mallen, Men’s team captain Josh Cruz, Kevin Olayvar, TJ Simtoco, Coach Anton del Rosario, AIA Ambassador Nico Bolzico, Ram Cruz, Jay Catajay, Head of Brand Kay Wong, CMO Melissa Henson Mel Juanatas, Meg Vanadero, Brand Rep Paola Lepatan, Nicole Andaya, Ellie Haenel, Ira Borreo, Reez Pineda, Women’s team captain Kyra Dimaandal:
Photo Release

Selection Committee Lead Shannon Moloney shared, “It was extremely difficult to select only ten players as great talents showed up today. Aside from considering their technical abilities on the pitch, we also considered their contributions off the pitch.”

Former Azkal player Anton Del Rosario further added, “Our edge has always been our hearts. We will find the football players who will battle it out in London with all of their hearts.”

After careful evaluation, ten players from the general public sign ups emerged as the finalists who represented AIA Philippines and joined the four AIA employees who made the cut.

The chosen players embarked on a journey of preparation and competed as one of the 24 teams competing to be the AIA Champion. The competition started in a group stage format where every win earned three points and a draw earned one point.

The Philippine women’s team quickly became the crowd favorite, showing up as one of the strongest teams in the league. They ended the Group Stage winning all of their games with a clean sheet against Thailand, NZ, HK, and Korea. And while they made it to the semi-finals, they ended up conceding a lucky goal to Singapore, with the final score being 1 to 0.

On the other hand, the men’s team faced a sudden challenge when one of the players had an emergency and couldn’t make it to London. Nico Bolzico, who was originally asked to join the trip for content creation, stepped in as a player. "The experience was fun and it was incredible to represent the Philippines with my teammates. We really gave it our all," Nico shared. Despite this challenge, the men’s team scored 6 points in the group stages and won the hearts of the crowd as well.

In the end, New Zealand emerged as the champions for the women’s team, and Singapore clinched the title for the men’s team.

This initiative by AIA has proven to be a fantastic way to promote health and wellness through sports. By supporting football at both local and international levels, AIA continues to inspire Filipinos and the rest of the world to live healthier, longer, better lives.


Click here for more information about AIA Philippines, or here to visit the AIA Philippines Facebook page, email [email protected], or call (02) 8528-2000 to know more.

Editors Note: This press release for AIA Philipines is not covered by Philstar.com's editorial guidelines.


vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with