Young women athletes get to showcase their football skills as Pinay In Action (PIA) holds its annual all-girls football tournament in Dumaguete City this January.
The advocacy arm of Senator Pia S. Cayetano, PIA holds grassroots sports programs in different regions to help discover and develop local talents, particularly among young girls.
This year, ‘futboleras’ from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will battle for the 5th Pinay In Action (PIA) Football Cup from January 10- 12. Sixteen teams will square off in the 9-a-side all-girls football tournament to be held at the Gov. Mariano Perdices Sports Complex in the city.
Frontlining this year’s competition is defending champion University of the Philippines (UP), which bested all teams during the fourth edition of the PIA Cup held in Davao City last year.
Challenging the UP Women’s Football Team anew are the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Lady Booters, last year’s PIA Cup runnerup.
Teams from the Visayas are expected to give the top two seeds fierce competition, led by Silliman University Women’s Football Team and Kachella Football Club from the host city and province.
Rounding up the Visayas field are the Bayawan City Football Club and Futboleras Football Club from Negros Oriental; and Tayud United Football Club from Cebu City.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao roster is headlined by the UP Mindanao Women’s Football Team based in Davao City; Red Corals United Football Club Hermusoras from Zamboanga City; Tiago Football Club and Dapitan Football Club from Dapitan City; Dipolog Bad Bonitas from Dipolog City; FC95 Iligan City from Lanao del Norte; and Stonefield Football Club Damas from Ozamiz City.
An annual sports event, the PIA Cup aims to promote the welfare of Filipino girls through sports. “PIA Cup’s objective is to empower girls, one goal at a time,” said the senator, an avid sports supporter and former national athlete.
Cayetano noted that the country’s successful campaign in the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), where the Philippines emerged as the overall champion with 149 golds, 117 silvers, and 121 bronze medals, proves that Filipino athletes can excel in the region with proper motivation and support.
“I am such a believer of sports changing lives and promoting national pride. This is why I also continue to work with fellow decision-makers to find more ways to actively promote sports among our youth,” the senator added, stressing the importance of sustaining government support for grassroots sports development even beyond the SEA Games.
Cayetano is among the authors and co-sponsors of Senate Bill No. 1086 or the ‘Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) Act,’ which seeks to establish a national academy for sports in the country to train talented young athletes while still allowing them to pursue other educational tracks.
Apart from the football tournament, PIA will also hold a running clinic for young athletes to be led by Philippine triathlon team coach Melvin Fausto from January 11-12. The event will be held at the Gov. Mariano Perdices Coliseum Track Oval.
The 5th PIA Cup is organized by PIA in partnership with the Negros Oriental-Siquijor Regional Football Association (NOSIRFA). The event is also being supported by the provincial government of Negros Oriental led by Governor Roel Ragay Degamo; the city government of Dumaguete led by Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo; and Negros Oriental 2nd District Representative Manuel ‘Chiquiting’ Sagarbarria. Other sponsors include Bethel Guesthouse, Gabby’s Bistro, Ziplink Graphix, and Negros Oriental State University.
The annual sporting event will be covered by the organizers’ official media partners, the Negros Chronicles and 96.7 Bai Radio.