The field in the middle of the school was wide and ready, the fresh air breezing through it. The kids lined up and prepared themselves for training. Coach Maynard Cortan, donning a complete football attire—a pink shirt, black shorts, football sneakers and all—lead the kids into training. The field was full of students; all 99 of them running around, stretching, doing drills.
From the very beginning of the training all the way up to the end, Coach Maynard stayed with the kids. He always wants to be with the kids, from warm-up to cool-down activities and everything else in between. “I always personally play with the kids. That is my mentality: how can you be a great coach if you yourself do not know how to play?” he said. Coach Maynard is not just out there in the field to train the kids, he is out there to share his passion with them, too. He’s been a football player himself since high school and his love for the sport has only grown since then. He constantly tries to find ways to keep the fiery passion for football alive, not just for himself, but also for the kids.
Coach Maynard has been teaching football for years now and has brought many smiles to the faces of students. However, there are still times when the students’ love for the game is challenged, but Coach Maynard finds ways to help. “Before I had a wife, I would shoulder the cost of their equipment. I could buy 50 to 100-peso shoes at Ukays back then,” he shared. He would willingly pay the costs of the equipment for students who he knows truly love the game, who show great potential, and even those who just really want to play football.
Now that he has a wife and a 4-year-old child, the Coach has had to come up with new ways to keep the passion for football alive. He has coached for many years now, and he has witnessed his players come and go. Many of the alumni who Coach Maynard has trained still come back to help him keep football popular in the area. “I contact my alumni and we sponsor tournaments for the kids,” he said. Together, the Coach and his alumni pay for the venue, the certificates, the equipment, and the referees.
President of Naga City, Camarines Sur Football Association Domingo Baluyot said that the kids and the people around the town are now “fully aware about football, thanks to the efforts of sir Maynard.” Coach Maynard Cortan has undoubtedly changed these children’s lives forever, through his dedication not only to the sport but also to honing the future athletes of the nation.
Writer: Mauro Mendoza
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