By Christian Jay B. Quilo
Photos: Ruel Rosillo
KNOWN among members of the local sports community as the premier football tournament in Cebu (and the longest running), the Aboitiz Football Cup has become a very much anticipated event every year. Since its inception, the tournament has not just showcased the talents of Cebu’s budding athletes but also nurtured great values into them.
Through the years, the Aboitiz Football Cup has become a more inclusive event with more categories being opened every year — Age Group (6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 22), BPOs, Inter-Company, Ladies’ Open and Men’s Open, 38 above and 45 above. The organizers of the football cup want more people to join, regardless of gender or age.
The games are scattered throughout the last few months of the year, starting in September and concluding in December; although sometimes, the games are extended up to March. They are usually held at key football facilities in Cebu such as San Roque Football Field, Springdale Football Field, Don Bosco Football Field and Cebu City Sports Center
Created in 1997 in partnership with the Cebu Football Association (CFA), the Aboitiz Football Cup has come a long way from its humble beginnings. In the 19th Cup, which was concluded just last March, there was a total of 6,880 players, 320 participating teams and 17 categories — a huge surge in number compared to previous years, not just in terms of participants but also of categories, as the Aboitiz Group opened the tournament to a more diverse roster of players.
Nurturing people, especially the youth, has always been a core tenet of the Aboitiz Group’s missions. Through the football cup, the group empowers the younger generation through a holistic approach that involves not just skill training but fostering values as well.
“We believe that through this initiative, we are able to highlight the significance of sports education not only in honing the skills of each participant but also in value formation as it teaches the importance of teamwork, camaraderie and respect,” said AboitizLand, Inc. Assistant Vice President Eduardo Aboitiz in a press release for Aboitiz Eyes.
Moving forward, 2019 will be an exciting year for the Aboitiz Football Cup as it celebrates its 20th year — that’s two decades of shaping athletes and inspiring people to always do their best in good will and spirit. The Aboitiz Group’s testament to the development of football in the Queen City of the South is definitely stronger than ever.