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Oct. 28, 2011

Athletic Director brings new workout to Blair sports

by Emma Bergman, Print Editor-in-Chief
Itís the first inning and Blairís new athletic director, Rita Boule, has proven to be a real all star as she finds new ideas for change in Blair sports.

Being the athletic director is no easy job. In her new position, Boule holds a significant responsibility. "The athletic director oversees the entire athletic program, so everything from scheduling to finances to eligibility to promotion of athletics, anything to do with student athletes," she says. But behind all the paperwork and scheduling, there is a greater purpose.

Athletics teaches valuable life lessons, and to Boule those lessons are far more important than anything broadcast on the scoreboard. "It
teaches leadership and the ability to loose with dignity and grace. Those are skills that make you a better person, and itís a natural part of athletics to get those skills," she says.

As the athletic director, she must coach her own team of sorts: varsity and JV coaches, gym teachers, health teachers and student
athletes. Sheís been here for only a matter of weeks, but already she has plans to improve her team and its plays. In an effort to build community and increase communication, she has instituted an annual parent-athlete meeting. "Every fall weíll have a program for all student athletes and parents at Blair as a kick off to the year," she says.

This year the 90-minute program featured two presentations by a physical trainer and a motivational speaker, and many Blair teams
attended.

Boule has established a captains committee, another initiative to further unify Blairís sports teams. "All captains from all teams will be working together to improve Blair athletics and leadership skills," she says.

Boule has already made her share of fans. Her efforts to transform Blair athletics have been well received by students and staff alike.
Christopher Brown, JV boys soccer and varsity boys lacrosse coach, appreciates Bouleís emphasis on academics and safety. "She is in the
same line as Dale Miller, that student athletes are students first and that is really important," he says. "There is a little more responsibility which is a good thing because it makes everything safer."

Junior soccer player Allison Whitney approves of the new changes as well. At the beginning of the season, Boule allowed all fall athletes to attend a soccer game for free. "That was really nice, and the practice fields look much better," Whitney says.

Boule has seen her share of practice fields. Before switching to Blair, Boule spent 17 years at Kennedy High School. She coached 45 seasons and many different sports and was the assistant athletic director for the last five years. She has been involved in sports her entire life, playing softball, basketball and soccer at her high school and continuing with soccer through her college years. Boule wants to provide student athletes with the encouragement sheís had. "Iíve had people in my life other than my family that were positive influences on me, that supported me and guided me through all of my years. I want all kids to have that same level of support," she says. She thinks that through sports, students can grow and connect with mentor figures in a way that is harder to do in a classroom.

Her motivation and excitement to be working with Blair athletics is clear. "I donít think there is any greater reward than watching someone be successful - especially when they worked very hard," she says.



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