The Manila Jockey Club once again showed its commitment to youth football with the staging of the 6thCopa San Lazaro football festival last April 28, 2019. As always the center fields in the racetrack at the San Lazaro Leisure Park were teeming with enthusiastic footballers from all over southern Tagalog and beyond.
“This Copa I believe had the most reach in terms of our target areas, south NCR and CALABARZON,” said Mikki Cardenas, the Marketing Officer of Manila Jockey Club.
The Copa had six youth categories as young as 8 years old, as well as mens and women’s open divisions. Teams as far north as Olongapo and as far south as Lucban, Quezon, participated.
The younger age groups are all mixed, so boys and girls can play with each other. The purely boys divisions began at the Born 2003-2004 age group.
MJC prepared seven natural-grass 7-a-side pitches for the players. Once again there was universal praise for the quality of the surface.
As is the tradition with the CSL, early registrants were given a small gift. This year it was a travel pillow for the players. In previous editions drawstring bags were doled out.
“The atmosphere in this Copa San Lazaro was amazing,” said MJC VP for Marketing Eduardo Ramirez de Arellano.
“The kids were having so much fun, enjoying the beautiful game.”
Numerous teams took home winner’s trophies but the home side, the Manila Jockey Club Colts, captured the born 2005-2006 boy’s division title, their second championship in that age group, when they topped Stallion Laguna in the final.
Such was the parity in the competitions that no club won more than one division. That meant eight different champs in the eight divisions.
Manila Jockey Club has plans to make one of the twice-yearly Copas into a 9-a-side, two day event featuring older youth teams, like U19. This would more closely simulate the real 11-a-side football played at senior level.
This might begin in the next CSL, slated to take place in September.
The Copa San Lazaro is organized with the invaluable help of Alab Football Club from Los Baños, Laguna. Manila Jockey Club is also thankful to Topcoms Marketing Corporation for supplying the official match ball, the Star Polaris 5000, which is FIFA-approved for high-level play.
Special thanks also to the Cavite Football Association and the Laguna Football Association for providing the referees for the games.
While the playfields of Manila Jockey are constructed to the specifications of elite athletes, anyone can reserve them. To book the PFF Artificial Turf Pitch or the natural grass fields in the San Lazaro Leisure Park, contact Jeng Arrazola at 09167766377 or Mikki Cardenas at 09178829312, 02-687-9889 loc 410.