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  • Writer's pictureBelle Tiongco

Floating Football Pitch Philippines

The prospect of an after-dinner coffee in posh BGC was something that Chris and I looked forward to, especially after the hectic summer months that we barreled through barangays, armed with thousands of balls that we computed had the potential to touch almost half a million children all over the Philippines.

We started 2019 running, welcoming over 13,000 “unpoppable” balls donated by One World Play Project and going through the nightmare of receiving the shipment, paying the fees, and transporting them to our storage location in Davao City. The next two months were spent “launching” the balls among various groups of children, largely underprivileged or coming from challenging environments. All of the hardships of getting the balls through were somehow wiped away, as we witnessed how these balls made the children incredibly happy.

But tonight, it was free and easy, where CEO and President of BEAGIVER, Josh Mahinay, and Yellow Boat of Hope Co-Founder and President, Dr. Anton Lim, welcomed us with their latest t-shirt giveaways. We responded by showing our “bright as sunshine” One World Play special edition Leo Messi Expo Dubai 2020 balls that got Chris and Anton talking about how they were going to build a small-sided pitch in a Badjao community. Anton said the Badjao children would often be bullied in school, and having their own pitch and playing football will help a lot in lessening their anxieties and improve their confidence levels. Chris said, why not build a pitch right next to the school? Anton said the school was on water. A floating pitch then, on water! Anton lost no time, scrolling on his phone and making computations on how much the project would cost. He said, give me a few weeks, I’ll get it done.

August 2021. Yellow Boat of Hope launches its new floating football pitch, the first in the Philippines. We were so impressed and so happy to see our logo on the floor! We’re part of this. We’ve dreamt together, and we made things happen. There’s a lot of good people in the world, I reminded myself. We just have to keep finding them and letting them know that there’s so much more to football. There’s so much more to sport and play.

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Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas
Aug 15, 2021

A cuppa coffee, good friends and a single idea!

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