Sponsors year-long activities of Brickfields Community Football Programme (BCFP)
Kuala Lumpur, 6 September 2014 – AIA Bhd. today announced a one-year corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative with the Brickfields Community Programme (BCFP), a volunteer-led football training programme for disadvantaged youth in the Klang Valley.
This collaboration is a meaningful one, in view of AIA Group’s five-year partnership with Tottenham Hotspur as its official Club Shirt sponsor until the end of the 2018/2019 English Premier League season. The launch of AIA’s CSR collaboration with the BCFP also coincides with the Tottenham Hotspur Legends’ Malaysia Tour, featuring legendary Spurs players, Ledley King and Osvaldo “Ossie” Ardiles.
AIA Bhd.’s Chief Marketing Officer, Thomas Wong, launched the CSR initiative in the presence of King and Ardiles, both of whom also made time to mentor the young BCFP players. Earlier in the day, AIA organised a special football coaching session for the BCFP players, facilitated by two professional Spurs coaches who were brought in for the event.
Wong said, as one of the largest insurers in Malaysia, AIA has always promoted the importance of healthy living, and what better way to promote a healthier lifestyle than by starting with the younger generation?
Wong added that the BCFP’s goals are in line with the values of AIA and Tottenham Hotspur as all three organisations recognise the important role that sport plays in developing healthy lifestyles in our society.
The football club, through its award-winning Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, has launched several successful community programmes in the UK and other parts of the world, creating over two million life-changing opportunities by using the unique appeal of football to improve educational opportunities and employability within underprivileged communities.
“Today, AIA is honoured to have the Spurs legends actively participate in our community event by mentoring the BCFP’s budding footballers,” Wong said. “As The Real Life Company, we believe that there are lessons on the field that can be applied off the pitch as well. I hope this session will inspire the young players to adopt the values of team work, perseverance and unity even in their day-to-day lives.”
Ledley King, as part of his Ambassadorial role with the Club, works closely with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation around the Club’s regeneration scheme in North London, and said: “Through the success of our award-winning Foundation, we have seen how football can play an important role in improving people’s lives.
“Not only does participation in the sport encourage a healthy lifestyle, but football’s unique popularity can provide a hook with which to engage some of society’s most hard-to-reach young people in positive activities that can improve education and employment opportunities for them.
“It is great to work with AIA on delivering this coaching clinic for the BCFP. Through the Club’s five-year partnership with AIA, we will continue to deliver joint initiatives that promote health and vitality throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” King added.
BCFP founder R. Manogaran thanked King and Ardiles as well as the two Spurs coaches for the special session with the BCFP group.
Manogaran, a sports journalist, said BCFP was founded in 2010 with the goal of giving underprivileged kids an avenue to pursue sports, especially football. “We want to give them the best that they deserve, just like how parents want to give their kids the best that they can,” Manogaran added.
“We are grateful for AIA’s sponsorship. Their support will help us reach out to more kids including groups such as Orang Asli, shelter homes and refugees. AIA is also sponsoring the cost of rental of a permanent football field as well as an accredited football coach for our weekly sessions,” he said.
Manogaran explained that these weekly sessions were not focused solely on football. The BCFP programme also teaches players life skills, including how to cope with life’s pressures and to respect and love their parents, siblings and elders.
“There is a tendency for today’s kids to lead sedentary lives. We want them to have an active lifestyle so they grow up healthy,” Manogaran added. “We hope that by keeping them engaged through sport, the kids have good reason to stay focused and keep away from social ills.”
AIA is also providing the BCFP with better training equipment and will be sponsoring a football camp for the children later this year.
AIA’s support of the BCFP reinforces AIA’s brand position The Real Life Company, which encapsulates the Company’s longstanding commitment to be deeply engaged in the lives of its customers, employees, partners and the community.