Football is thriving in the Philippines now more than ever, and Optimal Athletics, Inc. (OAI) is honoring that with their first major project: Cherry Turf.
Together with The GAME, OAI celebrated the launch of the first rooftop football pitch in the Philippines. Located at SM Cherry Shaw in Mandaluyong, and in partnership with SM Malls, the pitch is called Cherry Turf, and it is a space dedicated to pushing Philippine sports further.
On the newly laid out turf grass, The GAME and OAI invited key stakeholders in the football community to come and join the festivities of the launch. Together, they were all able to Celebrate the True Spirit of Sports.
Celebrating the True Spirit of Sports
Although the brand-new turf and playing space are definitely the main attractions of Cherry Turf, the team at Optimal Athletics, Inc. is developing the entire rooftop. This will, in line with The GAME’s mission to ‘Celebrate the True Spirit of Sports,’ make sure that Cherry Turf is open to all.
Not only is it a place to kick a ball around, but it is also a place where people can sit back, relax, eat, and drink, all while enjoying the sport right in the middle of the city. This all goes hand-in-hand with OAI’s main goal to push the development of sports and the Philippine sports industry to the next level.
To celebrate this endeavor, the festivities at Cherry Turf’s launch showed exactly this. Guests enjoyed all kinds of fun activities on the turf yesterday.
Apart from testing out the new turf pitch, guests got to line up at the face painting booth to glam up, enjoy refreshing scoops of ice cream, check out Audi’s car collection, and celebrate with good music and good vibes.
Guests were also treated to all kinds of snacks, from the Filipino-favorite snack, Taho, to the classic Taters snack bar, to Red Bull’s drink booth—everyone getting the chance to experience Cherry Turf in a myriad of ways.
Indeed, it was a way to celebrate the true spirit of sports, not just in the sport itself, but in the lifestyle around it.
A Team Celebration
The team at OAI and The GAME were excited to share the entire celebration with all the guests in attendance at the launch.
Former football player and sports correspondent for News 5, Martie Bautista hosted the event, sporting the athleisure look for a true sports lifestyle event.
CEO and President of OAI, Kevin James Olayvar, and Chairman, Raf Gastador, cut the ribbon to officially open their very first project, Cherry Turf.
Along with them were Brand Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The GAME, James Leonard Cruz and Amanda Fernandez, as well as SM Representatives, AVP for Marketing, Kai Fagara, and AVP for Leasing, Cecil Salva.
Team Philippines’ Street Child Football Team, along with the team from Fairplay For All Foundation, Inc. was also on the pitch after they have recently competed in the Street Child World Cup last month.
With all the stakeholders present at the event, The GAME’s publisher shared with the crowd, “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a partner like OAI. As you know, it is The GAME’s sincere mission to truly elevate the overall Filipino sports experience and wt innovative initiatives like the cherry turf, we are truly excited for what’s ahead and people can expect a lot from this partnership.”
During his speech, CEO and President of OAI, Kevin James Olayvar shared, “Football is just one of these projects. For me, I’m a football guy, so this was really the first project I wanted to do.” Moving forward, however, he also added that there are more initiatives that can definitely be possible through this partnership.
Truly, it was a team celebration at Cherry Turf last night. And already, the teams have all shown that they are committed not only to elevating Philippine sports on the pitch but off it as well.
A Chance to Give Back
Apart from celebrating the launch of this new endeavor, OAI and The GAME wanted to also make sure of this opportunity to celebrate the sport of football in the Philippines as a whole.
“Together, we will create opportunities and help mold the development of sports in the
Philippines by connecting with different partnerships that share the same vision of creating a new path for sports in the country for years to come,” the Optimal Athletics Inc. team emphasized ahead of their launch.
In keeping with this, the teams at OAI and The GAME awarded the FairPlay For All Foundation, Inc. with a check of PHP 50,000.
FairPlay For All is an NGO that runs a football, education, and nutrition program to “level the playing field” among children around the country. This was just one way that the team was able to give back to the community, both in the sport and off the pitch.
“Donations like this means we can continue to do what we do, continue sport development in Payatas but not just as players,” Roy Moore from FairPlay For All shares. ”So the players become coaches, so our students become tutors, and our mentees become the next mentor. This is great to see with how our FairPlay Scholars don’t pay back support like this. They pay it forward to the next generation of kids.”
All in all, it was a successful launch for Cherry Turf—the Philippines’ first-ever rooftop football pitch.
Now, with just one new space to play, there are so many more opportunities that can open for the sport and for the community all at once, as the event itself has already shown.
OAI and The GAME are definitely looking forward to seeing more action on Cherry Turf soon and watching the development of the sports community in the Philippines.