Meet Patrina Caceres, a coach for of Beyond Sport Global Awards Shortlister for Decent Work and Economic Growth FundLife and its Girls Got This program. Read how she uses experiences from her own life to positively impact others then Take the Journey with all our Shortlisters through December at beyondsport.org/journey.
Growing up, Patrina was a multi-sport athlete, playing volleyball, badminton and table tennis in high school, and varsity football for the University of the Philippines Tacloban. While getting her B.A. in Communication Arts with a major in Literature, she also served as president of the University football club for two years.
After university, she continued with sport as a coach for the Leyte Football Association (now EVRFA). But, in 2013, like so many whose lives with destroyed by the mass devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, her family was left with nothing. But Patty channeled the experience to rededicate herself to helping others – particularly girls from vulnerable communities.
She had already been doing what she could to make the world better, one class at a time as an instructor at a private community college, but the typhoon made her realize just how uncertain life was. She decided that she wanted to do more to show her gratitude for the second chance she was given at life.
“I was still young when I started at FundLife, I was basically a kid. Most football coaches are young adults who are looking for the next step in their life.” FundLife had reached out to Leyte in 2014 for coaches for its flagship Football for Life: Tacloban program and Patty was chosen. “The program teaches the kids that as long as you believe in yourself you can become whatever you want in life.’’
Coach Patty ultimately became an ambassador for one of the organization’s partners, Girls Rising, promoting sports for social impact and education outside the classroom. Over the years, she became a mentor and strong role model, inspiring ambition in her students and guiding them to improved educational and employment outcomes.
“FundLife gave me the opportunity to look for new possibilities, providing me leadership skills and helping me specialize in youth development. I like working for FundLife, because I have become a better educator, I am going beyond just textbook knowledge to equip my students for life.”
In 2016 she received a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Education and took off to Spain for two years. She continued coaching children - teaching English through football – and was also the goalkeeper for a 3rd division team in Madrid.
When she returned, Fundlife helped her reach her dreams of becoming a licensed professor at Eastern Visayas State University where she teaches Philippine Literature and Purposeful Communication among other subjects.
Coach Patty continues to work with Fundlife as a Football for Life Ambassador and life skills mentor for Girls Got This.
''Life will give you reasons to smile and cry. Like the sunflower looking up to the sun - be grateful for the good stuff and like the bamboo, bend to life's storms but never break. And as you go along, rest if you must but don't quit on your dreams.''