Altruistic. Devoted. Sympathetic.
Three qualities that every coach needs to positively impact the lives of their athletes.
Then there are coaches like Pat “Marv” Marvin, whose coaching transcends the sport and influences the lives of her players deep into their adult lives.
Many may call her “coach,” but in speaking to those whom she has come across you quickly realize that Marv isn’t just another “coach.”
Marv’s former players consider her a member of their family.. a mentor that had such a deep emotional impact on their lives as children that they can’t imagine their life without her to this day.
A rock they can lean on outside of field hockey.
A mentor they can seek out when they need support; never questioning whether she will be in their corner.
The Holland Field Hockey team was lucky enough to have Marvin lead them as their Head Coach for three decades. In recent years, Marvin has continued to help with the team as a volunteer assistant – a position that she pours her heart into knowing that she is positively influencing yet another generation.
The dedication that Marvin has to the Holland Field Hockey team has not gone unnoticed within the program.
“Something that she has done and still does that impacts me is the amount of dedication she has to our program, even though she is no longer the head coach,” said freshman Abby Neitch. “She’s always here when she can be and she always supports our team and cheers us on. It’s just really helpful, and it impacts me and makes me want to play for her.”
People really have high regard for Marv,” said Pici, Holland’s current Field Hockey coach. “She’s just a genuine, nice, positive woman who reached out to so many different communities.”
Three years ago, Marvin received the news we all dread: a cancer diagnosis.
People who were close to Marvin knew about it but for the most part she kept it to herself.
Far more concerned about helping others than having others worry about her she waged a relatively private battle with the disease.
Ultimately, after a hard-fought battle, she beat the cancer that had invaded her body.. everybody who knew let loose a sigh of relief.. their “second mother” had overcome an unimaginable challenge.
But earlier this year, she received the only news we dread more than the cancer diagnosis of a loved one.
The cancer had returned.
“This time she came right out and said this is what I’m going through and I need some support and some positive thoughts. Think the best for me. Everyone knows about it and everyone just really cares about her and wants to be there for her if she needs it,” said Pici.
When news broke that Marvin was in the midst of her second bout with cancer, it sent the entire field hockey community into action.
Teams across Western New York organized Play for a Cure games with the proceeds going towards Marvin’s medical expenses.
Clarence, Williamsville North and Pioneer collectively raised over $1,000 ahead of last night’s game in Holland.
Last night saw the culmination of a community campaign to support one of their own, featuring a matchup between Holland and Williamsville North.
The game was attended by over 250 people – many of whom were former players, former rivals and students – some who flew back to WNY for a single day – to support their coach and lifelong friend.
In the end, Holland was able to raise $4,073, bringing the total amount raised by the community at-large to a little over $5,000.
If there is one thing that stands out from this event, it is that no matter what happens in the future, rain or shine, the Field Hockey Community will band together and stand strong.
“We’re all pulling for you Marv – each and every one of us. We will always have your back – it’s the least we can do since you’ve always had ours.”
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