by Mars G. Alison, Correspondent
Rick Gabuya, Sports Editor
It is easy to assume that an athlete could cope better if his family is also into sports.
Certainly an advantage, but also very challenging, according to Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo.
Maxi, 43, is not only a former varsity member of the University of San Carlos (USC) football team, but also sat as the chairman of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) for one term, which spanned four years.
To say that he influenced his three children to get into sports is an understatement. For this athletic dad is his children’s inspiration.
As a father, Maxi said it is a challenge to let your children play whatever sport they want especially when you are an athlete yourself.
“Somehow, as a father, you will always have an influence in their choice of sports because kids normally follow their dads but eventually they will find what they love so you have to let your children experience other sports. Bottom line is you give them your full support,” Maxi said.
This is why Maxi had no complaints when Igi shifted to biking and even accompanied his son to training and competitions.
“The feeling is different when you are in the background but I enjoy the moment and do not mind all the preparations. I get to travel, learn new things and meet other parents,” he said.
SPORTS AND LIFE
Maxi has always loved sports and competition so he encouraged his family to be sports oriented.
His wife Sheila, 44, also used to play soccer baseball for St. Theresa's College (STC) during her high school days.
“My children are so blessed to have him as a father because di jud sila ma-ing-ana if it weren't for him. He is a very good motivator. He brings out the best in them,” she said.
She added that Maxi has asked her to call his attention whenever she feels he’s pushing their children too much. Because for Maxi, life is a huge sports arena where challenges lurk in every nook and corner.
“It is better that they lose in a tournament rather than in life,” he would say.
But as much as he wants his children to excel in sports, Maxi said he’d rather want them to prioritize their education.
“There is no compromise in that, studies come first. They know that they should be a good student first before becoming a good athlete. They can always go back to sports after their studies,” Maxi said.
For this special day for fathers, Maxi's kids want their dad to know how grateful they are to have him as their father.
His eldest daughter Ina, 18, is a football varsity of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, where she is taking up Occupational Therapy.
“Dad, words cannot express how grateful I am to call you my dad. Like a pot, I started out as a clay, lifeless and sloppy. Then just like the pot maker, you gathered me up and molded me, shaped me and tried to perfect my imperfections. You exposed me to the fire so that I may be strong and durable enough to stand the cruelty of the world alone. As I went through the gruelling process of becoming a pot you were always there. Your hands guiding me and ever ready to catch me if I fall. You have done a wonderful job in raising me, Igi and Ica and a great husband to mom as well. I want you to know that everything I do and achieve is for you and mom:) I love you so much. Thank you for being my dad. Happy father's day!” …Ina
FROM FOOTBALL TO CYCLING
His only son Igi, 15, has shifted from playing football for Paref Springdale since first grade to cycling, wherein this early, he is already a back-to-back junior champion in the 2010 Philippine Premiere Cycling League (PPCL).
“Dad, first of all, happy Father's Day! Thank you for your support in everything I do. Because of you I have achieved so much at such a young age. One particular aspect is what we have accomplished with my cycling. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be where I am today. I believe it is because of you that I am able to pedal harder and stronger than I ever thought I could. Dad, I love you just the way you are. Having you as my dad is the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you and I love you!...Igi
STAR TRIATHLETE IN THE MAKING
Maxi's youngest daughter Ica, 10, may not be into any competitive sports yet but she has expressed interest in triathlon while she practices running, biking and swimming.
“Hi dad, happy Father's Day! You've done so many things to me and our family. Dad, you are a great dad to me. And you were always there for me. Like when I'm down, you cheer me up. When I'm having trouble with my homework, you help me get the correct answer. Thanks for being great, I love you and happy Father's Day!...Ica