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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Roy Boyd - a coaching legend

Roy Boyd - a coaching legend

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1 Roy Boyd - a coaching legend on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:40 pm



Roy still keeping track in Sandringham

Bayside Leader
5 Apr 12

Roy Boyd and his athletes at the Glamis Avenue
athletics track in Hampton that Boyd helped
establish 50 years ago.

“IT’S a privilege, you know, to be invited to assist in the lives of athletes, in what is a most important part of their development,” Roy Boyd said as he reflected on his never-ending journey with athletics.

It started in Sandringham and has taken him to tracks all over the world.

While retired from the international circuit, Boyd has always called the athletics centre at Glamis Ave, Hampton, home.

He helped set it up 50 years ago.

The latest signpost on that journey was a surprise.

Almost 80, Boyd had the Sandy athletics facility named after him.

He sometimes feels a little silly when he realises that he is coaching under the sign “Roy Boyd Athletic Centre”.

Watching Boyd run a training session, the respect his teenage squad of six members pays him is noteworthy - largely because this generation of teens is stigmatised with being lazy, unappreciative and disconnected.

Not this crew.

The members constantly seek Boyd’s insights into their hurdling and sprinting techniques.

What’s more, they train with shirts off but there’s not a hint of raging-hormone syndrome.

They read from a black-and-white printout of the tasks assigned by Coach Boyd.

No ear buds, no i-communication tools, just blissful focus to match a perfect summer’s evening.

How does Boyd do it?

“I follow the basic Christian teachings of compassion, justice and love,” Boyd said, but cautioned, “I don’t preach it”.

For a guy who coaches in the most technical of events, it’s a simple formula.

Every word Boyd says is delivered with love and kindness.

It’s been the same summer after summer say the veterans.

Does he ever give an athlete a bake?

“Well, sometimes we have a vigorous discussion,” he replied.

After years of lobbying, Bayside Council last year gave the Sandringham Athletic Club permission to name its facility after Boyd.

The process is a conservative one, not unlike the honour of when Boyd received his OAM.

The tricky part for council is naming a facility after a living person.

State guidelines released in 2010 explain it is preferable that places be named after deceased people as “people’s opinions and attitudes change over time”.

Bayside Council named the administration area at Trevor Barker Oval after John Mennie, who is living, but this, like the geographical naming, is rare in the city.

Boyd’s connection with Glamis Ave goes right back to the start when he assisted in setting out the first track in 1961. As a civil engineer he was qualified. He also undertook the planting of the pine trees to protect it from wind.

You can’t but help to be drawn to the metaphor of these handsome, tall, mature and statuesque trees and Boyd’s demeanour.

For almost 55 years he’s coached as a volunteer.

Could you imagine a modern-day narcissistic personal trainer giving up 3-4 hours a day to put something back into the community? “I wasn’t charged when I was being coached, why should I?” he said.

However, he has no problem with coaches receiving payment for coaching, as many have invested time and money in achieving and improving their coaching qualifications

“It keeps me young working with these young people.

“I get a bit of exercise throwing around a few hurdles.”

If you’ve hurdled for Australia in the past three decades you’ve met Roy Boyd.

From Fleming to Vander-Kuyp they’ve all grown under Boyd.

“When Kyle (Vander-Kuyp) retired in 2006 I decided to only work with young teenagers,” Boyd said.

That leaves Boyd with a conundrum. Move them on or continue this life-long journey with the sport.

In this idyllic setting, with the bay breeze topping off some pleasing form over the hurdles, Boyd doesn’t bother to give a solution. No need - he’s relaxed and appreciating yet another hurdling drill.

2 Re: Roy Boyd - a coaching legend on Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:01 pm


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
Damn straight he is. A coaching legend and a true gentleman of the sport.

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