INSPIRATION:Underprivileged children keep Faisal Cup alive
A TOURNAMENT, that is named after a boy who lost his life when trying to retrieve a ball, continues to give hope to many young players.
The seventh edition of the Faisal Cup will see a total of 90 teams, comprising 63 football and 27 netball teams, taking part in the age-group tournament at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Raja Ali in Jalan Ipoh.
Initiated by Harvest Centre Bhd in 2006, Faisal Cup acts as a voice of freedom and opportunity for underprivileged children.
Though birthed through tragedy, the story of Faisal losing his life, trying to retrieve a ball he saw floating in the Gombak River has inspired a tournament that emphasises the value of organised sports and the skills and positive attitudes it cultivates in children.
The Faisal Cup, which has become an annual tournament for Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 underprivileged children, began on Aug 24, culminates with the finals on Sept 29.
All in, 441 boys and 243 girls are taking part in both events.
The tournament is sponsored by the Asian Football Development Programme (AFDP) and supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mamee-Double Decker.
“We, at the AFDP, are very proud to be part of Dignity for Children Foundation’s noble efforts to restore hope and empower underprivileged children through education as well as sports,” said Prince Ali Al Hussein, AFDP chairman and Fifa vice-president for Asia.
“The Faisal Cup is an avenue for the children, where their dreams can become a reality and through which they can dream and hope.
“This event is also in line with AFDP’s commitment to engage the youth in Asia in a game for life that promotes social responsibility and development,” he added.
The AFDP, a non-profit youth commission founded by Prince Ali and headquartered in Amman, Jordan, focuses its needs-based support on strengthening football development as well as promoting social development through football across Asia.
“We are excited and grateful that the AFDP has agreed to journey with us in our humble effort to bring meaning, inspiration and hope to the many underprivileged children out there, who just like Faisal have not had the opportunity and resources to fulfil their dreams,” said Rev Elisha Satvinder, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dignity for Children Foundation.
“Every year we see not just our project grow but the people who are involved in this journey with us grow as well.
“The joy and laughter the sports bring to the kids, the children’s firm belief that they are one; they are united no matter what colour or religion, the little things most of the privileged take for granted, all these and more, make it all worthwhile”,” said Satvinder.
This year, the organisers introduced a Peace Camp that teaches the children to promote peace, sportsmanship and anti-bullying.
The Pledge-A-Ball at RM40 campaign creates awareness and raises funds for the Faisal Cup.