By : Bernard Pelletier
For the past few days, we’ve been watching elite athletes perform in Rio. Even though we might realize that these performances are unattainable for most of us, this type of event helps young people to discover sports and to dream of reaching this level of performance.
My children, Simon (9 years old) and Catherine (7 years old), have been enjoying doing judo at the dojo in Beauport for 3 years. What’s great about this dojo, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, is that it has produced athletes who have reached the ranks of the international elite. Out of these athletes, four (4) have participated in the Olympics: Patrick Roberge (1992), Sophie Roberge (2000), Catherine Roberge (2004) and Antoine Valois-Fortier, bronze medal winner in 2012, as well as a hopeful winner for the current Olympics. What’s even greater for the young judokas is that they can be present next to these elite athletes, which makes the dream even more accessible for them.
Also, on 7 May, the children had the opportunity to do a training led by Antoine Valois-Fortier, a truly kind athlete, who took the time to talk and play with them. It goes without saying that on 9 August, most of these children and their parents will have their eyes glued to the screen to root for their one-day “coach,” their friend Antoine! My family will be there! For those interested, there will be a large public viewing on a giant screen on 9 August at the dojo in Beauport, a special occasion to experience the fever of this martial art in the company of Antoine’s die-hard fans!
For those who are interested in trying out this sport, see our Judo section.