Philip Paul Pattynama
“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever”
09 / 10 / 1999
Sport / discipline
It wasn’t short before I already had to pack everything up and move to another country. Born in the Netherlands I grew up in a loving house hold where we as kids were motivated to participate in extracurricular sports activities. Both my parents are avid sports people my dad being one of the top judokas in the Netherlands of his time and my mother an excellent wind surfer. Both held sports and education in a very high regard, we were expected to excel in both areas. My younger sister had a passion for the dancing arts such as ballet and tap and I developed an early taste for multiple sport of which Swimming, Tennis and Rugby stood out the most.
When at five years old we moved to Spain as a family my father quickly decided to enrol me at the local rugby club named RC Sitges, which in my eyes was very cool, not necessarily because of the sport itself but because the club logo showed three dolphins which at the time were my favourite animals. At that young age of fives years old you learn the importance of a team sport and how to work in unity, which I now believe is one of my biggest assets having learned that at such a young age. Besides rugby and school I still had some free time and what better way to fill that time with more sports. Even though rugby was always the priority swimming and tennis both were two other passions of mine. Having an extracurricular schedule of one sport every day after school and matches on the weekend my parents had their hands full, especially with another sibling that also had a high demanding dancing schedule.
As you might notice by now sports was a big part of not only my life but also my families. The friends I made during this time are still very close to me, even though we all moved to different parts of the world, the accomplishments and everything else you go though as a team bonds you like no other could. This also formed me to who I am on this present day. With rugby you learn the importance of respect and integrity at a young age, all this forms a person and exemplifies what sport can contribute to someones life. Even though at an older age my parents got divorced and my grandmother passed away soon after, rugby was always there for me, despite the tol it took on my mental health and the struggles that come with that. The rugby club was always a safe place for me to got to and clear my head, it was a way for me to express myself in a way I wouldn’t and couldn’t do outside of the pitch. Because of the struggles with my mental health I dumped myself even more into rugby, I trained more, I was more verbal on the field and finally took on the captaincy in my last year in the youth. All this dedication took, for what some would call it, sacrifice, I don’t see it that way. Skipping a party on a Friday night because I got a match on Saturday games as a second nature to me, I wouldn’t even think twice about, rugby comes first no matter what and that’s something that still counts to this day. In a way you can say my success is partially due to the factors named above.
From a young age I always had high ambitions, and yeah this is a physical, contact have sport so naturally you’ll have few setbacks by my goal to make my debut for the 1st XV was always set in stone. So when I finally came on the field from the bench in the last 15 min of the match it was a dream come true. It wasn’t an important fixture, it was a regular mid season game against an opposition that on paper was inferior to us. But for me as a youngster in one of the highest ranked teams in the country it was everything to me, the crowd, the excitement of finally fulfilling a dream.
For all you at home reading this I just want to say how important it is for kids to be part of something bigger than themselves. The lessons you learn are irreplaceable and the memories unforgettable, it was and still is a key aspect of my life, my day to day is so formed around my training and game days that it just became part of my routine. Once again its a huge privilege being where I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing!