Payatas kids, LA Galaxy, David Beckham, tournament and a whole lot of fun! Part 1
On Friday the 2nd of December 2011, 10 of the kids from Payatas FC were some of the luckiest children in Manila. They were sponsored by Kuya Dan Palami (manager of the Azkals) to join the LA Galaxy training clinic at Rizal Memorial stadium (RMS). The clinic was attended by 150 children, 50 of whom were sponsored from various foundations and the other 100 were paid for by their parents or guardians.
The morning of December 2 dawned very early for me as before going to the training clinic I was taking two of our players to the hospital where they would have their arm casts removed ( their arm’s were broken at the last tournament). After completing that around 9.30am, I went and met Roy who had picked up the rest of the kids and at around 10.30am we were heading off on the roughly two-hour journey to RMS. The kids were excited and nervous not fully knowing what to expect but the buzzing all the same!
We arrived at RMS, parked and headed round the stadium to find where we were to get in. Upon finding the entrance we then had to register but due to our kids being sponsored we didn’t have the papers that everyone else had. However, within moments this was sorted out as some of the Palami family came to our aid and we headed inside. I collected the kids uniforms (a free gift as part of the clinic – a football kit designed for the event), handed them round and then the kids went and got changed. They looked great in the kits and once changed they all headed down to the pitch where they were put into their groups and sat down to await the arrival of David Beckham and the rest of the LA Galaxy team.
The team arrived to massive cheering and clapping and the clinic began straight away. The lucky kids were all led out onto the pitch by assistant coaches and the Galaxy team split up into twos to train the kids. Around half way through the training, our only girl to join that day, was pointing at where we were sitting. Only she wasn’t just pointing at us, she was showing who she was with to David Beckham who had his arm around her! To Angelica she was showing her coach who had bought her but to everyone else it was a wow, that 10-year-old girl is so lucky moment!
The training lasted perhaps 1 hour and after it the kids all excitedly returned to their seats, chatting about their experience. The LA Galaxy team then had their own training session which the kids were able to watch. The Payatas kids after around 15 minuets of watching started to get a bit restless so we took some pictures of them, they played a bit in the stands and just generally had a great time. After the event the kids were allowed onto the pitch and were given Alaska bags. Alaska are a dairy company here and sponsored the event and inside their bags was a carton of milk, two milk shakes and a water bottle. Our kids loved them and were so proud of their goody bags. It was around this point that we were invited by Kuya Dan to bring 25 kids to the LA Galaxy vs Azkals match the next day. We couldn’t quite believe that we were going to be able to bring some of the kids to watch this historic match with a football legend like David Beckham! Of course we accepted and decided we would figure out who would join later on that night.
After the training and everything had finished the kids were hungry so we took them across the road and bought them all Jolliebee for their dinner and also a treat of a chocolate ice cream sundae. Their favorite food is chicken and rice and they always love getting to go into a fast food place so that treat really finished of for them an incredible day to remember! Then it was time to head home and rest for the next day :) Thanks to all those (especially Kuya Dan and the rest of the Palami family) who made this day as amazing as it really was!
*check out ‘Payatas kids, LA Galaxy, David Beckham, tournament and a whole lot of fun! Part 2’ for how the match went and also the Payatas FC’s U11’s and U13’s tournament went on the Sunday of this incredible weekend!