Celso urges preservation of school plazas to promote football in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 September 2011 17:01

Mayor Celso Lobregat has called on teachers and school administrators to preserve and protect school plazas for the promotion of football and even other sports events that need wide playing fields.

The mayor said this, as he lauded the Zamboanga Football Association (ZAFA) for choosing the Sta. Maria Football field at the Sta. Maria Central School as the venue for the two-month sports event dubbed as ZAFA Cup 2011 that brings together over some 40 football teams from all over the city.

Besides, he said, contrary to malicious talks spread around by his critics, the huge plaza and not the grandstand fee is the reason why the ZAFA Cup 2011 is being held at the Sta. Maria Central instead of the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.

“I am very happy that the ZAFA has chosen Sta. Maria Central School grounds as the venue for this competition because aside from having a football field, you have trees all around where parents can comfortably watch the games and it has always been traditionally here where soccer tournaments are being held”, the mayor said in his message during the opening of ZAFA cup 2001.

Held in partnership with the Sangguniang Kabataan under Councilor Joana Mas and the Zamboanga United Football League (ZUFL), the two month sports event has four categories: Under-13 boys, Under-14 girls, Under 17 boys, Ladies’ Open and Men’s Open and is intended to enhance football skills of the youth and ultimately promote football game in Zamboanga. 

Mayor Lobregat said it is necessary for teachers, school administrators and the Department of Education in general to initiate measures to preserve and protect school plazas as it is where students can improve their talents in sports as well as can serve as venues for football competitions.

The mayor, who was an active football player during his elementary, secondary and college days, encouraged ZAFA, SK and the ZUFL to host football tournaments in other schools such as in Talisayan, San Ramon, Sinubong, Ayala and Culianan where there are existing huge plazas.

With an open football field, even people passing by have the tendency to get attracted to the games, he stressed.

Mayor Lobregat was member of the Philippine Football Squad during his younger days. He was inducted into the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. “As an athlete I know it is important for football to have playing fields not only one but several football fields and that is the only way we can promote soccer”

For her part, Councilor Joana Mas in her message said the SK Federation in Zamboanga is bent on initiating programs aimed to develop the youth and make them productive citizens in the future. She stressed that similar football events will be staged in other parts of the city.

Also present during the opening program held at the Sta. Maria covered court were Sta. Maria Central School Principal Luzbella de Leon, ZAFA President Erwin Bernardo, Sta. Maria barangay chairman Justo Lacandalo and other officials. --Sheila Covarrubias