Kuantan, 14 October 2018 – After a successful run of Zurich Malaysia’s Eat Right to Play Right (ERTPR) Youth Cup 2018 tournaments in Kedah and Malacca respectively, the state tournament journeyed to Pahang to continue educating children on the importance of healthy nutritional habits through the passionate game of grassroots football. The third leg attracted participation from more than 450 students aged between six (6) and 14 years.
In addition to the enthusiasm displayed by the young participants, parents and coaches were equally in high spirits throughout the two-day tournament over the weekend of 12 and 13 October at Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah (KUIPSAS). Team coaches and managers could also be seen constantly giving orders and discussing tactics during matches as the players played their hearts out on the pitch to come out on top.
Although local grassroots football has been gaining traction in recent weeks, what sets the ERTPR Youth Cup 2018 apart from other junior competitions is its focus on educating the young players about proper nutrition habits before anything else.
MyKids Balok academy’s head coach, Azeman Md. Rashid was in a jubilant mood after his charges bagged top honours in the U12 and U14 categories in addition to learning valuable lessons about nutrition. He said, “These junior tournaments are very important to the development of grassroots football in our country as it promotes teamwork, respect and sportsmanship from an early stage.”
“I am thrilled to see the young players learn about healthy nutritional habits through this tournament as it will definitely help them improve in terms of fitness, stamina and mental well-being. I hope all participants will practise what they have learnt from the ERTPR Youth Cup,” added Azeman.
Another manager from the MyKids Balok academy, Haslina Jumahat praised the ERTPR programme’s effort to teach youths to adopt a healthier lifestyle. She said, “Apart from advocating grassroots football, I am confident the ERTPR Youth Cup will help curb unhealthy practices and activities among the youths in our community. I look forward to more beneficial programmes such as this as it offers invaluable experiences and learnings.”
MyKids Balok nicked the U14 crown through a 5-4 penalty shootout win against Makmur United whilst their U12s beat Kuantan Soccer Kids 3-2 in their category final. Meanwhile, the U10 category saw Kuantan Soccer Kids came out on top after a 2-0 win over Pesona FC and Kuantan Panthers got the better of BMSK FC finishing 1-0 in the U8 final.
Charlie Chai, Head of Brand Marketing of Zurich Malaysia, was present on both the heated match days to support the young talents and also present the prizes to the winners for all categories.
The ERTPR Youth Cup 2018 will next head to Sarawak, followed by the Klang Valley before the Grand Finals on 8 December, where all the state preliminary winners from each category will battle it out for the inaugural ERTPR Youth Cup 2018 crown.
ERTPR is Zurich Malaysia’s integrated community programme that was established in 2016 in partnership with local non-governmental organisation, One Goal Malaysia (OGM) to tackle child malnutrition issues by educating children on the importance of nutrition and healthy eating, as well as to encourage physical activity and good sportsmanship, by using grassroots football as a platform. It is funded by a local grant from Z Zurich Foundation.
For the latest updates on ERTPR and Zurich Malaysia’s corporate responsibility programmes, please visit www.zurich.com.my or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ZurichMYS