A journey stretching four months and two separate continents for Malaysia’s brightest young talents culminated with an unforgettable finale at Munich in yet another testament to Allianz’s unwavering commitment towards shaping the ‘Captains of the Future’.
The Allianz Explorer Camp Football Edition Asia returned to Malaysia once again with the 2019 edition where thousands of young budding footballers were given an opportunity to explore their passion for the beautiful game. In collaboration with Bundesliga behemoths FC Bayern, Allianz scoured as many as 14 different states across Malaysia before settling in on 10 select youngsters to represent the nation in the Asia camp at Singapore.
There, Malaysia’s proud representatives rubbed shoulders with 33 other young explorers from seven different countries across Asia in a four-day action-packed camp littered with exciting, but also equally challenging, activities.
Using football as the common denominator to bring together some of Asia’s most promising future leaders under one roof, Allianz facilitated the perfect mishmash of intercultural interactions that is bound to leave a profound impact on the 10 Malaysian kids.
During the four days, the Allianz Explorer Camp Football Edition Asia 2019 provided the participants with a chance to train under the watchful eyes of renowned coaches from FC Bayern while they were also treated to an exclusive masterclass by Ivica Olić. The FC Bayern legend was left notably impressed with the skills and enthusiasm shown by the youngsters who soaked in as much footballing knowledge as they could from the Croatian’s masterclass.
While football naturally ranked high on the menu in the four-day camp, there were activities galore off the pitch as well with the 43 starlets treated to a magical experience at The Jewel in Singapore’s Changi Airport. The Malaysian kids, along with the others, were also enthralled by Drone Racing League (DRL) pilot Dunkan and attended a fun workshop where they learned to navigate their own drones.
The 10 Malaysia representatives then put their best foot forward in showcasing the country’s proud culture and heritage in a memorable intercultural night that brought the curtains down on the Allianz Explorer Football Camp Edition Asia 2019.
The journey, however, did not end just there with two of the most talented Malaysian kids - Adam Alif and Mohammad Firdaus - being selected by Allianz to represent the country in the grand world finale of the camp held at Munich.
A visit to the iconic and picturesque Allianz Arena (home ground of FC Bayern) was the perfect start to the final camp for the youngsters from Malaysia and around the world before they were greeted by surprise visit from Spanish midfield maestro Thiago Alcântara
Bayern’s famed Säbener Strasse training ground opened its arms to the starry-eyed participants as they refined their football skills in the presence of Thiago and the rest of the German club’s coaching contingent.
“It is important that two huge entities like Allianz and FC Bayern work together because they can reach many children and many programs as well,” Thiago summed up his experience after watching the passionate youngsters up close.
“It was awesome to experience one of them (Allianz Explorer Camp) and see how the children are supporting each other and they are all from different countries and different cultures.
“It is great to take football as a chain to bring them all together and learn important values in life.”
Enduring friendships with fellow children from different countries and continents will be one the most abiding memories for the Malaysia representatives who flew the country’s flag high at both Singapore and Munich.
“From meeting the coaches of FC Bayern, to making new friends and gaining new skills, it has been an awesome experience,” said young Firdaus.
“I really want to thank Allianz because I have loved every moment of this,” he added.
It might be just a four-month journey in the end, but it is one both Adam and Firduas will cherish for the rest of their life as Allianz kept up its promise of nurturing the future leaders of Malaysia.