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9/24/2012 1:43:00 PM
Keeping kids on track
Paul Boileau photo
Paul Boileau with Will Spitznagel, sixth grader at St. John Fisher before a track meet.
Paul Boileau photo
Paul Boileau with Will Spitznagel, sixth grader at St. John Fisher before a track meet.
Jon DeBellis
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Paul Boileau, the new track and field commissioner for the Catholic Youth Organization, is excited about the post.

The gathering of volunteers, the arrangement of fields for the meets, the timing and details; Boileau believes he's ready for all the busy work.

"I just want to make sure the season runs smoothly, and that the kids enjoy their time at the meets. Pretty simple, really," said Boileau, a member of St. John Fisher Parish in Southwest Portland.  

A member of the track and field commission at CYO for several years, he's learned the ropes from CYO's Mark Lee and former track commissioner Mike Bergman.

A member of St. John Fisher since 1992, Boileau grew up attending St. Thomas More Parish in Southwest Portland. He's watched the track program at CYO grow over the last 20 or so years.

"The reason why the program has grown is because it's such an excellent introduction to track without burning them out and it's run smoothly; a refreshing fact for both the parents and the athletes," said Boileau.

The program provides a tough level of competition, says Boileau, but it also is a place where all kids can still participate.

"We try not to just focus on the fast kids, but on everybody, and show them that it's all about getting better individually," said Boileau. "You might never win, but you will get better. It's a terrible sport to be in you can't learn from losing."

Though the program is a little ways off (planning begins in January) Boileau is looking forward to seeing the kids back on the track again.

"I love being around the kids and seeing them work so hard," said Boileau. "My hope is that we're instilling in some of these kids an appreciation for running at least. You can't play football all your life, but running is something you can."

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