The kick-off of the 3rd edition of the Quebecor 55 Challenge was given on Thursday morning at Cartier-Brébeuf Park when a hundred young people from poor neighborhoods and immigrants started.
The goal of the Motivaction Jeunesse organization is to raise $ 75,000 to provide activities and sports equipment to youth whose families do not have the necessary financial resources. At the time of our morning visit, more than $ 68,000 had been raised. The event concludes Saturday with the mayor’s race, a festive 5.5 kilometer event with Bruno Marchand.
General manager of Motivaction Jeunesse, created 23 years ago, Luc Richer is one of 30 Motivacteur who got their hands dirty. A combative man, Richer wants more this time around. He decided to do his first Ironman in life, which consisted of swimming 3.8 km, running 42 km and cycling 180 km.
“I have many challenges in my life and I was there, he said, Thursday at 10 am after completing the swimming component and 15 kilometers of running. It’s exciting to see that our work has an impact on the community. »
Despite the challenge, Richer felt that his efforts were less weighty compared to the situation of young immigrants in central Quebec neighborhoods.
“The rain and my physical effort were worthless compared to what young people experience when they come to Quebec,” he explains. They lived through storms, political conflict and war [en Syrie]. They have to make a great effort to find their place here. »
The plight of immigrants touches the richer hearts.
“They were left on their own devices, hanging out in schools,” he laments. There are small schools in the school. We have helped many, many young people to find themselves, to find a passion and interests and to find their way. Like cobwebs, many contributors contribute to giving them healing. »
“We want to make sure that nothing is forgotten, that they are part of the gang even if they don’t have money, to continue Richer. We want to create opportunities for these young people. »
A social worker at a Youth Center for 12 years, Éric Martel-Bahoeli is one of 30 Motivacteurs.
A difference in young people
“Motivaction Jeunesse’s participation in DPJ makes a difference to young people, underlined by the former boxer whose goal is to win a half-Ironman. The sport saves lives. Introducing a young person to a sport can make a difference. of a great difference, as well as making them aware that being active is better than hanging out in the streets. »
Silver medalist in the 1000m at the Beijing Games, long track speed skater Laurent Dubreuil lent his name to the event as a speaker.
“It’s a really good cause and I’ve been involved since 2012. It’s good to make money for young people in disadvantaged backgrounds, but it is also very good to see the happiness we bring them. Young people are having fun and waiting for the start. We had fun too. »
Former Rouge et Or dirty hands
Wanting to give back to the community, the Rouge et Or football alumni association has joined forces with Défi 55 Motivaction Jeunesse.
Starting this morning, some forty alumni will unite in a relay race where they will cover 275 kilometers (55 x 5) in 24 hours. Some players will make more than 5 kilometer loops to reach the goal.
“Last year, we got involved in the activity by taking on a personal challenge to raise a total of $ 14,000, but we found it more fun to bet on a team concept,” explains former star wide winger Jean-Frédéric Tremblay. responsible for the committee responsible for giving back to the community within the Association.Symbolically, a soccer ball will be used as a relay.When we played, the coaches asked us to do our 1/12 on the pitch.This time, the watchtower will do our 1/55. »
“We weren’t far from the 55 men who were there, but we had an injured list, like at the time, Tremblay added. The men would do some loops to cross 275 kilometers. I made 55 kilometers last year and I will try to run 85 kilometers this year. The rain will come, but I think we are still “tough”. We have seen worse in football. »
Along the way, the Alumni Association has increased its purpose. “Our initial goal was to raise $ 10,000, but it was exceeded and we are now aiming for $ 14,000, the amount we raised last year. It is always possible to contribute through our page https://motivactionjeunesse.fundkyapp.com/fr/defi55-2022/anciens-rouge-et-or-football. »
Through former offensive lineman and member of the board of directors of Motivaction Jeunesse Pierre Tremblay made the link between the two entities.
“Pierre introduced us to Luc Richer [le directeur général de Motivaction Jeunesse] and we fell into his organization, ”Tremblay said. Three years ago, we began a meditation with the Association where the desire to bring back the community that had supported us so much during our career was united with the men. We fell in love when we met the stakeholders of the organization. »
Tremblay and the alumni want to offer opportunities to young people from poor backgrounds and immigration through sport.