KUALA LUMPUR: There was laughter and shouts of joy all around as the Faisal Cup Tournament Finals was held at SMK Raja Ali in Jalan Ipoh this past Saturday. The event featured around 90 teams; 63 football teams and 27 netball teams; with over 600 under privileged children vying for their respective trophies.
The ULC team took home the trophy for the Under-10 football matches while the ULC-B team, the ACR team and the MRLC team took home the trophy for the Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 matches respectively. The BRO Under-10 team, BRO-1 Under-12 team, KRC Under-14 team and the HTC Under-16 team held their netball trophy high at the end of the tournament.
“Faisal Cup has given me an opportunity to be trained and to play football very well. Some of my friends do not even have the same opportunity. Faisal Cup is a journey where hope can be realised. On behalf of the players, I would like to thank Dignity for Children for organising this tournament. AFDP and UNHCR, thank you for making this possible for all of us here”, said Mohd. Ishak Bin Nur Alam, 11, from the HTC Under-12 Football team during his testimony speech at the Faisal Cup Tournament Finals.
Sarah Manzoor, 11, from the HTC Under-14 Netball team said “Faisal Cup is a really meaningful event for me. It has given me a lot of joy, patience and many life lessons. Faisal Cup is not only an event but it is the voice for freedom and justice. It is an opportunity for us to play. Thank you Dignity for Children Foundation, AFDP and UNHCR for your love, support and faith in us”.
A crowd of over 850 people attended in support of the tournament, which included the children, parents, sponsors, supporters and volunteers who helped in the setup of the event as well as managing the food and beverage stalls.
This also marked the first year the Asian Football Development Program (AFDP) has come on board as sponsors alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mamee-Double Decker and GE Engine Services (M) Sdn Bhd.
“Congratulations to all winning teams as well as all players who have given their best in this tournament. Football is not only about winning, it’s about team work, making friends and learning from each other,” noted Prince Ali, Chairman of AFDP, commented upon receiving news of the final.
He added; “On behalf of my colleagues at AFDP, I would like to thank Dignity for Children for believing in the power of football to strengthen communities by giving children an opportunity to prove themselves and to restore hope. I look forward to meeting many of our young players during my trip to Kuala Lumpur this fall.”
The girls’ football team was also introduced to the cheering crowd for the first time. AFDP, the proud first-time sponsors encouraged the move towards developing girls’ football to aid in broadening the perspective of the communities. Training for the girls’ teams will begin soon.
“Empowering girls through football is a principal pillar of AFDP and I’m glad young girls were part of this tournament and will also take part in future ones,” said Prince Ali.
“We are very grateful for everyone who came, supported and volunteered their time today. I also want to thank all our sponsors, especially the Asian Football Development Project, for supporting us in our vision and desire to bring meaning, inspiration and hope to the many underprivileged children out there,” said Rev. Elisha Satvinder, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dignity for Children Foundation.
Rev. Elisha went on to say, “I believe many who came today saw and caught the passion of the children displayed on the field. These children were encouraged and blessed by everybody’s presence.
This year the Foundation also introduced the Pledge-A-Ball campaign which will run year round to help create awareness and raise funds for the Faisal Cup. The public is encouraged to take action and pledge RM40 for just one ball. These balls will be used for training purposes as well as for future Faisal Cup tournaments.
This campaign is in keeping with Dignity for Children Foundation’s efforts to ensure that no child will ever have to give up their life just for a chance to play with a ball. Further information on this campaign can be found on the Dignity for Children Foundation’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/
For more information on Faisal Cup or to volunteer for the many other projects and programmes by Dignity for Children Foundation, please visit http://dignityforchildren.org/
About Faisal Cup
Faisal Cup was born in 2006 when one of the students from Harvest Centre Bhd lost his life while trying to retrieve a ball he saw floating in the Gombak River. Harvest Centre Bhd initiated the tournament that very same year to ensure that underprivileged children are given the opportunity to play sports in a safe environment. The heart of Faisal Cup is to impress the value of organised sports and the skills as well as positive attitudes it cultivates in children.
In 2010, all Harvest Centre projects came under the name of the Dignity for Children Foundation and this annual event still acts as a voice of freedom and opportunity for many underprivileged children.
About Dignity for Children Foundation
Dignity for Children Foundation began work in 1999 under the outreach of the New Covenant Community Church. Founders Rev. Elisha Satvinder and his wife, Petrina, were taken to the plight of many underprivileged families in the Sentul area. Through the church, they began to reach out to the community through various methods which included grocery distribution and job placements as well as counselling.
The efforts of the program then began to consolidate and focus solely on education and work officially came under the name of Harvest Centre in 2003. In 2010, all Harvest Centre education projects came under the name of Dignity for Children Foundation.
For more information on Dignity for Children Foundation please visithttp://dignityforchildren.org/
About Asian Football Development Project
The Asian Football Development Project, founded and chaired by HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, is a non-profit youth commission that is based in Amman, Jordan. Their objective is to provide required support to all Asian national and regional football associations and affiliates in a fair and transparent manner.
The AFDP has four principle pillars which include supporting grassroots and youth football development, advancing women’s football, and protecting and developing football.
For more information on the Asian Football Development Project please visitwww.weareasia.com
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