Day 70: Good as Gold

Tonight, the 2012 Summer Olympics will commence in London – here at home, neighbors young and old will be glued to their TVs and computers cheering on Team USA and living vicariously through the best athletic talent our country has to offer.

When you watch these elite athletes – it’s easy to forget that they all started out the same way: as a kid who loved to play sports.  Many of these Olympians got their start through a program called CYO.

Here in the Diocese of Cleveland, our Youth & Young Adult Ministry and CYO office just got a big boost: a $20,000 grant from BP through its “BP’s Fueling Communities” initiative program. The contribution supports the training and support of more than 150 Athletic Directors who run CYO sports programs for more than 25,400 youth and adults in the 8 counties of Northeast Ohio.

This grant will allow us to “fuel” more dreams and perhaps even future Olympians.  In fact, one member of the CYO team knows first-hand how real that Olympic Dream can be.

Katie Marquard is the Athletic Director for CYO’s Lorain & West regions – her responsibilities include coordinating the Coaching Development Program, overseeing the Central & Lorain parishes, and directing a variety of sports. Prior to coming to CYO, Katie was the Executive Director of U.S. Speed skating for 16 years, where she was responsible for the organization’s programs from grassroots to elite athletes. She received her BA in Business from the University of Minnesota. Katie currently coaches CYO cross country and track for St. Bernadette as well as coaching speed skating for the Lakewood Club. Katie has experienced all levels of athletics as a participant, coach, and parent, including competing in the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics in speed skating.

We are proud and honored to include Katie as part of our Catholic Charities family and can’t wait to see what dreams we help fulfil for the next generation of athletes!

The CYO program is celebrating 75 years of service to youth and families in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Lorain, Summit, Ashland, Wayne, and Medina Counties in Northeast Ohio. CYO sports include Baseball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Cheerleading, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Football, Flag Football, Boys and Girls Soccer, Softball, Boys and Girls Track and Field, Wrestling, and Boys and Girls Volleyball. Since its beginning in 1937, CYO has maintained a commitment to turn no child away from its programs due to financial limitations.  CYO Athletics places the child, not the athletic activity or winning, at the center of CYO Sports programs. For more information visit:


One Comment on “Day 70: Good as Gold”

  1. Jo Aslan says:

    another heartwarming story – thanks for sharing!

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