The GK SipaG program is a youth leadership and empowerment program that specifically uses sports, such as football, as a medium and teaching tool to mold leaders among underprivileged youth through the pillars of values formation, life skills, positive communication, and child rights/protection. Through this program, many children became academic scholars, adult leaders in the community, and have sought sustainable full-time employment.
From June 6-26, 2018, Gawad Kalinga’s Sipag team traveled to Europe to train, learn, and compete in the France international football tournaments namely Hazebrouck International Youth CUP, USVJ Villete D’Anthon tournament in Lyon and Tournoi International Jeunes de Sartilly.
Attending European tournament is already in its 2nd year where GK Europe, together with its supporters, partners, and volunteers in Europe have invited the Gawad Kalinga Football team in the Philippines to compete in football tournaments, participate in educational activities, as well as serve as ambassadors for their communities. These youths were selected not solely based on their athletic ability, but more so on their potential to contribute to their community as leaders and role models. This year, the players came from GK communities in Mandaluyong, Quezon City and Pasig.
The itinerary of GK SipaG Europe 2018 Trip:
June 6: Depart in Manila
June 7: Arrival in Amsterdam, take a bus to Hazebrouck, France
June 9-12: Stayed in Hazebrouck and compete in the Hazebrouck International Youth Cup
June 13-15: Visit Paris, France
June 15-20: Stayed in Lyon and compete in Villete d’Anthon football tournament
June 20-25: Stayed in Sartillly and compete in Sartilly football tournament
June 25: Fly to Amsterdam for a connecting flight to Manila
June 26: Arrived in Manila
We got our first trophy in Europe – the Europa League Cup at the USVJ Villete D’Anthon tournament in Lyon, France!
The assigned traveling companions and chaperones during this trip were Michael Kevin Goco (Head Coach) , Marlyn Importante (Team Manager), Jun Degayo (Head of Documentation), Zarah Malatbalat (Former SipaG player turned Football Coach), and Aldrin Lufamia (Former SipaG player turned Football Coach). GK Europe ensured the plane flights, accommodations, food, and transportation of the group. While GK USA, thru Seafood City, sponsored the official uniforms and visa applications.
Thank you to our friends and supporters from GK Europe, GK USA, Air France KLM and Gawad Kalinga Lyon and all the French host families and French volunteers and coaches for this wonderful opportunity to sow hope and build dreams among our young kids and leaders. – Marlyn Importante, Team Manager