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On Monday, the Toronto and Canadian operating neighborhood misplaced a legendary coach with the passing of Paul Poce. In 1954, Poce based the well-known Toronto Olympic Membership, which nonetheless stands as town’s oldest operating membership.
Born in Toronto in 1924, Poce started operating after taking part in boxing throughout his teenagers, believing that operating was a greater sport. His athletic profession began below legendary coach Lloyd Percival, who coached him whereas he was coaching with the Toronto Purple Devils.
Poce went on to educate 13 Olympians, together with former Canadian marathon report holder Jerome Drayton; he was head athletics coach for Group Canada on the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and distance coach in 1972 (in Munich) and 1976 (in Montreal).
Beneath Poce, Drayton set a Canadian marathon report of two:10:09 in 1975, which stood for over 40 years till Cam Levins broke it in 2018. He additionally set a world report within the Nineteen Seventies within the 10-mile race and was sixth within the marathon on the 1976 Olympics. Earlier than Drayton’s accolades, Poce recruited him into distance operating and the Toronto Olympic Membership.
Poce coached with Toronto Olympic Membership into his 90s and was inducted into the Canadian Highway Runners Corridor of Fame in 1991 and the Canadian Olympic Corridor of Fame in 2010.
“Poce had an extended and full life, dwelling into his late nineties, and was teaching and mentoring proper up till the top. I’m positive many will agree that he was universally revered and admired inside our Canadian operating neighborhood and past. He was beloved by so many, as he gave a lot to everybody inside his scope of affect.” –Harvey Mitro (sub-four-minute miler, former nationwide staff runner and creator)
“I used to be deeply saddened to be taught of the passing of Paul Poce, not solely a former coach of mine, but additionally a real legend on the planet of teaching. His outstanding 60-year tenure with the Toronto Olympic Membership is a testomony to his unwavering dedication and keenness for the game. I’ve little doubt that his affect will endure via the numerous athletes whose lives he has influenced, each on and off the sphere of play. Paul’s dedication to his craft, alongside together with his potential to encourage and mentor athletes, will perpetually be remembered. He was a really distinctive coach and a unprecedented particular person. His legacy will proceed to shine brightly, serving as a guiding mild for generations to come back.” –Paul Osland (Athletics Ontario CEO, former nationwide staff member and Olympian)
“In a testomony to how good a Paul was, after I joined the TOC junior program to educate in 1975, TOC runners owned the entire senior males’s Canadian data from the 800m to the marathon. Though I used to be by no means formally coached by Paul, he was omnipresent if not bodily, however in spirit. If you had been in his presence, he at all times was there with a fast pick-you-up quip after a foul race and simply as fast with the reward when a great race was run or a PB set. Thanks Paul for all you probably did for operating and Monitor & Area in Canada. RIP!” –Jerry Kooymans (Canadian Masters Athletics Corridor of Fame Member and Former Toronto Olympic Membership coach)