Football dreams with the Younghusbands
One kid’s campaign to bring the beautiful game to their school.
by rick olivares
King Camacho is a 14-year old student at the Multiple Intelligence International School in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. He likes football. Correct that – he eatbreatheslivesthinksloves football. In fact, he campaigned all over MI to bring the beautiful game to his schoolmates and friends who had begun to spend more time indoors if not in front of computers instead of outdoors where they were missing out on that great molder of person’s character that is sports. “School cannot all be studies. You need to develop more than your intelligence but your body,” said the tall and lanky student with big dreams. “I believe that sports builds character and this is an age when we should be open to more and more things.”
It just so happened that a schoolmate of his was Keri Younghusband. One didn’t need a degree in rocket science to figure out that she was related to a couple of chaps named James and Phil who kicked the ball around a bit.
“The idea behind MI is for kids to find their different strengths and one is bodily and kinesthetic intelligence,” expounded Mary Joy Abaquin, Directress of MI. “Football is an interpersonal sport that will develop more than athletic skills and we are fortunate to be able to partner with the Younghusband Football Academy on our new school sports program. But you have to give it to King for his persistence.”
King’s campaign was a success. Some 80 students from different levels applied for the football program. And following the Philippine Men’s National Team’s success in the recent Suzuki Cup, the interest increased manifold.
“It was only me who liked the sport,” admitted King. “There were other students who were into football but not as much. Most prefer to play computer games or stay indoors. So I said I had to do something about this. I am happy to see the program take off.”
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for us to give back to the game,” said Phil Younghusband who admitted to enjoying coaching the youngsters through the Younghusband Football Academy. “It reminds my brother and I of our time in Chelsea where we were just so excited to learn and come out every day. I must say that it’s a very good feeling to be able to teach children football. Partnering with MI is special because our younger sister, Keri, goes there.”
“At Chelsea, all our attention had to be on football because there was a very competitive and exciting atmosphere. It was very important to go into the day with the correct attitude because everything affected our performance on the pitch, added Phil. “Our parents provided a lot of support because it isn’t very easy trying to be a professional footballer. Our dad was always there to watch and cheer for us. He passed away in 2003 and in many ways, the Younghusband Football Academy is a tribute to him and to help Filipinos in the game of football.”
Older brother James also stressed the importance of the values of the game. “My brother and I have always been known as team players. There are the values of teamwork, fair play, discipline, and diligence that one should learn and use on and off the pitch.”
Last January 13, the brothers began their inaugural training session for Multiple Intelligence School at the Ateneo de Manila football field that drew quite a crowd as the parents of the participants as well as dozens of onlookers watched under the sweltering heat. After the two-hour session, a beaming King toweled off the sweat while slapping hands with his schoolmates for a memorable first day. “It was a great opening session for our football program. I think that my classmates and friends were really excited because the Younghusband brothers were teaching us. It was only a few weeks ago we were watching them on television and now we are beside them playing football. It energizes us.”
Just then, Phil Younghusband passed by and patted Camacho on the head. “Future Azkal,” pronounced the striker for the national team.
The young student beamed from ear to ear. The next session couldn’t come quickly enough.