Olympic Day at INS Québec: Helping discover the resident sports of INS Québec

On June 8, there were a lot of activities at the Complex of the Institut national du sport du Québec (INS Québec). As part of the Olympic Day, more than 550 students had the opportunity to try out the various resident sports of the Institut in the presence of several Olympic athletes. Organized by the Jouez gagnant program and INS Québec in collaboration with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), this day aimed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for students.

Participants came from five schools in the area, including four schools in nearby neighbourhoods. Each group discovered twp different sports among the 11 sports offered. As such, children were able to test their skills in four water sports, including swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming in the Olympic pools. The various sports platforms of the Institut were also very animated where introductory sessions were given in gymnastics, boxing, karate, boccia, judo, fencing and track and field.

Enthused, students first familiarized themselves with the basic rules and movements of the sports in the presence of coaches and athletes. They were then invited to experience a short training session. A few teachers also got in on the fun and took a stab at the moves. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to move within a non-competitive context.

Fun was the name of the game and some Olympians were even able to try sports outside their specialized discipline, under the complicit gaze of their colleagues.

It was also an opportunity for active and retired athletes to transfer Olympic values and their love of sports. For fencer Étienne Lalonde-Turbide, who took part in the London Games, this event was important and appreciated by youths since they were introduced to sports which are often new to them. “The youngsters were really enthusiastic, they wanted to move, to do the exercises we were showing them. They had the chance to try out sports that they rarely hear about in the media.” According to him, such an activity is essential to the development of sports culture. “Students were able to practise a sport that they don’t usually see in their physical education class.” It should be noted that Olympic Day allowed young people to practice certain sports that are less present in the school system due to the necessary equipment, such as fencing, or that requires specific facilities, such as water sports, or that are simply unknown as is the case for the very inclusive sport of boccia.

Inclusion was one of the themes covered during this Olympic Day. The students met a few Paralympic boccia athletes at the gymnasium, whereas in the pool, they were able to be accompanied by athletes from the Montreal Para-swimming Centre de Haute Performance for swim practice.

Canadian Olympic Team mascot Komak also paid a visit to INS Québec, bringing big smiles to the faces of young participants.

The 2018 Olympic Day combined fun and sports. Olympic athletes and elementary students had something very important in common, the desire to have fun and move.

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