Jog around the football field five times, gather teammates to a circle, practice the fundamental skills of kicking sideways, to the front, to the back, and then proceed to teaching how to control the ball through kicking, and then conduct a small game that teaches how to score a goal.
Armed with determination to win and a heart full of passion, 16-year-old Roxanne Paglinawan clad in her football uniform details that this is her routine as a team captain whenever her coach instructs her that it is time for training. Her love for football did not immediately flourish, it was only through the Coca-Cola Foundation’s Go for the Goal Project that awakened her love for the game that gave her a second chance to return to the school she already gave up on.
She knew football way back when she was still a kid through watching the game in the television. Aside from this sport, she is also a basketball enthusiast, however she is more dedicated to former than the latter. Roxanne added that her interest in football was only revived through watching the Azkals, more so it was ignited when her coach, who happened to be living in the same vicinity as her, invited her to join the football team and come back to school.
It was a rough patch, Roxanne remembers that was difficult to return and play the game since she had to balance her budding career in football and her academic requirements. She added that they only practice after their class hours since education is still her top priority despite her popularity in the game.
At a young age, the initiative to immediately contribute to the household made Roxanne think that earning money earlier is somehow better than staying in school. However she added her realization that when grows older, she will have a hard time finding a job since she was not able to finish her education.
This reason alone prompted Roxanne to find a way to get back to her classes. Coca-Cola’s Go for the Goal opened a new avenue for her to improve not only her skills in playing football, but also in honing her personality into becoming a well-rounded person with a heart of others.
This new project of Coca-Cola Foundation does not only focus on training students how to play football but to teach them that with every skill comes a life value. In the given curriculum, it is highlighted that players should be taught of a corresponding life value that is evident in a certain technique in football.
Roxanne recalled that in a particular game against a different school by which her team won, she said that the other team was impatient, and could not accept defeat. What she did was to tell them that it was a draw, and that they were sorry for whatever happened during the match. However, she happily reminisced that “maybe it was actually us who won”.
Given the chance if she would still play football in the next years, while still trying to hide her smile she replied: “maybe.” She is enthusiastic that perhaps one day she might become a member of the football team of the Philippines, but with a scratch on her head she added that it might be more realistic if she will become an electrician someday.
KEEPING THE GOAL
A week prior to the interview, John Kevin Olivera’s team won a game against another school with a score of 3-0, he gleamed when he introduced himself as a goal-keeper who made sure that the opponent’s ball would not hit goal. He recalls that the bond that he developed with his team is one of the things that he loves. Although nobody forced him to play, he knew that this would be his game.
More to it, football became his reason to come back to school.
At the age of 16, Kevin knows what he loves to do: basketball, chess, and football. It was during his school’s intramurals in 5th grade when Kevin played football. He was at the brink of dropping out of school before meeting his love for football. To him it was more than just passing the ball to the teammate without the use of hands; it was passion, it was the rush that he feels every time he plays.
“Kailangan pong ipagsabay ang pag-aaral at football.” Olivera said.
Even though he is very enthusiastic with the sport; Kevin said that he owes it to the game that he is still in school. If it would not have been for the Go for the Goal project, he would have said farewell to his education and started helping his family in guarding their palayan.
Go for the Goal is a new project of Coca-Cola Foundation that hopes to help decrease the number of dropouts in the chosen school. Indeed, the project is still a newborn to a number of projects that Coca-Cola produced, but even in a short period of time, it is beginning to grow as it continues to help students to actively stay in school.
Writer: Ma. Teriz S. Castro & Mauro Mendoza
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