LaLiga, Spanish Pork Celebrate Filipino Athletes
They held the Heroes Off the Pitch Awards Gala Dinner to honor Filipino athletes and organizations and their community projects
Spain’s professional football league, LaLiga, and Spanish Pork sector leader, Interporc, joined hands to celebrate and honor Filipino athletes and organizations and their invaluable contribution in the community at the recently held Heroes Off the Pitch Awards Gala Dinner at Fairmont Hotel in Makati.
The Heroes Off the Pitch Awards Gala Dinner brings to life LaLiga and Spanish Pork’s commitment to highlight the positive impact of sports to individuals, families, and communities as they further encourage the growth of football in the Philippines.
As a global organization, LaLiga is a leader in the sports and entertainment sectors that focuses on innovation and social responsibility in promoting football across the world.
Meanwhile, Interporc and its brand, Spanish Pork, is a non-profit organization representing all sectors in the Spanish Pork value chain which promotes Spanish white pork meat and meat products both in Spain and abroad, and its contribution to economic development.
As leaders in their respective fields, LaLiga and Spanish Pork would like to celebrate value of effort, sacrifice, team spirit, and dedication to excel in the sporting industry, most especially by the awardees of Heroes Off the Pitch.
“As a sports organization, we see it as our responsibility to promote football, not only as a sport but also an avenue to create a positive impact and give back to the community. Through Heroes Off the Pitch, we recognize the sports teams and individuals and their initiatives to make the world a whole lot better through sports,” says Almudena Gómez, LaLiga’s Delegate to the Philippines.
“Heroes Off the Pitch honors leaders in sports, but more important, leaders also in giving back to the community. Spanish Pork sector also shares those values, and contributes to the economic development, specially of rural areas. In addition, its nutritional values make pork meat ideal to be included in the sportsman diets, thus contributing to a correct performance” says Daniel de Miguel, International Director of Interporc.
This year, LaLiga and Spanish Pork conferred the Best Community Project awards to three Filipino sports programs which clearly illustrated the positive impact of sports in the country.
Receiving the Heroes Off the Pitch Best Community Project for Football was Gawad Kalinga & US Embassy in Manila for their "Project SPORTS LEAD: Climate Change Awareness Through Soccer." This recognition highlights a project that utilized football as a tool to educate and spread environmental awareness and relevant social issues in communities across the country. More than 100 youth from Davao de Oro, Sultan Kudarat, Butuan, Palawan, Bohol and Manila gathered to discuss important topics such as climate change or gender equality.
The Pinay5 by Philippine Football Federation, Henry V. Moran Foundation, Philippine Sports Commission & MVP Sports Foundation was awarded the Heroes Off the Pitch Best Community Project for Women’s Football. The project comes also from the long efforts of "Liga Eskwela," which developed futsal in public schools and communities, training teachers in the sport to support the coaching of young players and culminating in the creation of the Pinay5, the national women’s futsal team.
Finally, the Daungan Cuatro project of the Philippine Basketball Association, TikTok and Rain or Shine received the Heroes Off the Pitch Best Community Project in Basketball. The project benefited the residents of Daungan Cuatro in Navotas City. Turning over a renovated basketball court to the residents with an innovative and artistic approach that now serves as a safe and inspiring place for the community and encourages Filipinos to pursue their passion in sports and in life.
Filipino sports personalities like former Philippine Azkal James Younghusband, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Willie Marcial, PBA player Von Pessumal along with lifestyle personalities and sports enthusiasts Janeena Chan, Laura Lehmann, and Andrei Felix and representatives from the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines also graced the gala dinner to showcase their support for these advocacies.
The event also featured a delectable four-course dinner prepared by culinary expert Chef Chele Gonzalez in partnership with Fairmont Executive Chef Bela Rieck. Using world-class quality Spanish Pork, the dishes certainly highlighted why this is considered by foodies among the best around the world. The menu included: Pass around - Truffle-inspired brie with candied walnut, mini fresh vegan spring roll with peanut sauce, smoked salmon tartar on rye bread with dill; sugarcane vinegar marinated tuna loin with ginger, red chili, and coconut cream; slow cooked Spanish pork belly served with prawns, scallops, and cauliflower and cabbage mashed potato; pork jowl risotto with porcini - marinated pork jowl with garlic and olive oil served with mushroom risotto and asparagus; and homemade Crema Catalana with tonka bean.
LaLiga, together with Spanish Pork, vowed to continue celebrating and supporting Filipino athletes through various initiatives.
Photos courtesy of LaLiga and COMCO SEA