New aquatic manager hired at aquatic center
The Madras Aquatic Center and Recreation District has hired a new aquatics manager. Eric Bostard, 36, was hired in mid-July to take over the aquatics side of the MACRD.
Bostard, who owned his own business in Terrebonne, decided to step away and focus on his new job at the aquatic center. He grew up in Philadelphia, but has lived in Terrebonne for six years now.
"I felt with running my own business, that I would be able to help out here," Bostard said. "I have been around pools pretty much my entire life and played water polo since junior high. My first job was as a lifeguard and I have held other lifeguard positions."
Bostard was also a lifeguard at the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center when he first moved to Central Oregon. As the new aquatics manager in Madras, he is focusing on getting people interested in aquatic activities.
"I want to get the Madras area excited about aquatics and build up the programs my predecessors have built," said Bostard. "I want to build them up even more and just get as many people involved as I can."
"I want people to get involved at a young age," he said. "All the kids that do swim lessons, get them excited about swimming, and hopefully join and enjoy our swim team. I am hoping to try and start kids at a younger age in the water polo program."
No only did Bostard get hired at the aquatics manager, but he will also be the new water polo coach. Madras did not have a water polo program last season because they could not find a head coach. The White Buffalos won a state championship in water polo in 2013.
To get younger kids eager to get involved in water polo, Bostard is starting a new program in the spring called "Splash Ball."
"Splash ball is basically the flag football version of water polo," Bostard said. "There is no contact; it is all in the shallow end, so they don't have to worry about treading. It is really a lot more toned down, so the kids can understand the rules first before the wrestling part of water polo gets involved."
"It is not as hectic as a regular match," he said. "Kids play football and soccer at the age of 5, but they don't play water polo at a young age. Water polo is at a disadvantage, at least in our area, because the kids over the mountain will play at a young age, starting earlier. We have our kids start in the ninth grade, so hopefully this can build our program up."
Bostard in also the temporary swim club coach until the MAC can find a permanent replacement. Currently, the club team has around 35 swimmers, which is lower than previous years.
"I know at one point there was as much as 80 club swimmers and I would love to see those numbers again," Bostard said. "The transition here has been good; I am really just learning the ropes."
Sign-ups for water polo should be available by early August and fall club swim team are currently open. The club swimming for ages 5-22 will run from Sept. 9-Dec. 4, with practices Monday to Thursday from 3:40-4:30 p.m. For prices and additional information, visit macrecdiscrict.com.
"Be on the lookout for future activities and sign-ups," said Bostard. "Hopefully, we will have more activities to offer. Come to the pool and say hi. I am at the pool Monday through Friday."
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