Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: Sébastien Bouthillier
- School: Université de Sherbrooke
- Position: Sports Coordinator
- Seniority: 17 years
- Previous job/position: Fondation Athlétas Coordinator
- Hometown: Longueuil, Que.
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about our job?
I was working for a foundation whose purpose it was to support Université de Sherbrooke student-athletes, and I was assistant coach of the swimming team when a position opened in the sports department. So I was already relatively close to the Vert & Or coaching team.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
Without a doubt, Paul Naisby, my university swimming coach and head coach with whom I began training. He showed me the importance of keeping an open mind and not being afraid to question yourself.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
Contributing to organizing major sporting events is always something special. Over the years, I had the chance to collaborate in the organization of six U SPORTS track and field, cross country, swimming and women’s volleyball championships. Additionally, I was part of organizing the World Youth Championships (summer 2003) as well as the Canada Summer Games (summer 2013).
4. How would you define a Université de Sherbrooke student-athlete?
A student-athlete is a person who has chosen to do two courses at the same time: one academic and the other sports. They are a master at time management.
5. What does success look like for the Université de Sherbrooke athletics program?
For us, success is measured by the student-athlete graduation rate, as well as the individual or group sporting success achieved, such as championships, nominations within all-star teams, and participating in national and international events.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
After the initiation phase, costs associated with participating in different sports networks can sometimes rise very rapidly, which can unfortunately be a limiting factor to participation.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
I hope that university sports reach the highest level of recognition in the country after major, professional leagues (NHL, MLB, MLS and NBA).
8. If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be? Why?
Alex Harvey – he is one of the best cross-country skiers in the world, which is a feat in a country where cross country skiing is not a major sport. He is a choice ambassador for youth.
9.What would you talk about?
Everything surrounding the practice of his sport, his training plans, his competition schedule, juggling his studies, and his main competitors.
10. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
Go to a game or a competition and be conscious of the colossal efforts made by these student-athletes to accommodate their studies and their passion for their sport. They are examples to follow and the leaders of tomorrow.
11. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
I like moving around and doing different sporting activities: running, cross-country skiing, swimming, and sailing. Once I’m finished training, I love cooking to replace my