As part of its 2015-2018 Concerted Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Bullying, and its Policy on Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation, the Québec government has designated a team of ambassadors for good sportsmanship. This team’s mission is to encourage the safe and enjoyable practice of sports and recreational activities by young people and their parents, and to promote both the positive value of sports and the tools and resources for ensuring a respectful and safe environment.
They have done great things, earned awards, and shown extraordinary determination! The lives of Guylaine Dumont, Karen Paquin, Chantal Machabée, Patrice Bernier and Jean-Luc Brassard are an inspiration. In addition to agreeing to participate in various promotional activities (school visits, conferences, targeted meetings, etc.) over the coming year, they really wanted to share their stories and their values with us.
Take a look at their profiles and get to know them better.
The career of this top women’s volleyball player began when she was only 13-years-old and saw her competing two years later on almost every continent around the world. In 2004, she made Canadian volleyball history by taking fifth place at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She was inducted into the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame in June 2016.
Today, Guylaine works as a relationship therapist and sports psychology consultant. She is also a co-founder of Sport’Aide.
As an Ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, Guylaine has chosen to promote the following values:
“To get to the 2004 Olympic Games, I surrounded myself with positive people who believed in me. I adopted strategies to bolster my self-esteem and self-confidence, and I stayed positive.”
“On a sports level, choosing not to participate in the 1996 Olympic Games was not an easy decision but, on a personal level, it is one I have never regretted. I made my decision out of the greatest respect for myself.”
“My fifth place finish in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was more than a sports success. For me, it was a testimony to resilience and dogged determination.”
A medallist in women’s sevens rugby at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, she played in the Rugby World Cup Women’s Fifteens in 2017 before going to Calgary to train with the Canadian bobsleigh team.
As a child, Karen played different sports until she discovered rugby in secondary school. In 2007, she joined the Rouge et Or university rugby team. In 2015, she was named to the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Dream Team and was also named Rugby Canada’s Women’s Sevens Player of the Year. Her favourite motto is, “We play better when we smile!”
As an Ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, Karen has chosen to promote the following values:
“To take their rightful place, women often have to contend with environments where there are additional barriers. In order for everyone to be on an equal footing in the world of sports, we must teach young people to insist on inclusive sports environments for everyone.”
“Titles, medals and honours sometimes look easy to get but the pathway is strewn with challenges, pitfalls, lessons to be learned, missed opportunities and injuries. There’s no easy way to get there.”
“Respect in sports starts first and foremost with self-respect. If you develop a positive self-image, it will soon spill over into positive relationships with other people.”
An ardent sports enthusiast, Chantal got into sports journalism at the age of 17. She joined Réseau des sports (RDS) in 1989 and became the first woman to anchor a daily sports news bulletin, Sports 30. In 2004, she became the first woman sportscaster on a televised Montréal Canadiens hockey game. Today, she is a reporter assigned to covering the daily activities of the Montréal Canadiens and also, on alternative Saturday nights, hosts Hockey 360 and L’antichambre.
Despite the barriers she had to overcome, Chantal became a trailblazer in a traditionally male environment.
As an Ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, Chantal has chosen to promote the following values:
“We learn to grow and develop in society by respecting ourselves and others. It’s crucial to each person’s emotional balance.”
“Nobody reaches their goals without putting in effort! We cannot let ourselves get discouraged by the obstacles in our way and we must never stop at the boundaries set for us....”
“It’s my passion for sports that helped me overcome the obstacles in front of me. I refused to give up! If you are really passionate about what you want, the desire to overcome and reach your goals comes naturally.”
An international-calibre Canadian soccer player, Patrice currently plays in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a midfielder for the Montréal Impact. On February 13, 2014, he was named the second team captain in the Impact’s MLS history. He has been accumulating titles and honours on the international scene and in Canada for more than 20 years. In 2012, he was named the Impact’s Most Valuable Player and also received the Impact Communitarian Award, presented to the player most involved with the community. He played in the 2013 MLS All-Star Game and the 2013 and 2014 Amway Canadian Championship. He was named Men’s Professional Soccer Player of the year eight times by the Fédération de soccer du Québec. He retired from professional soccer in October 2017.
As an Ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, Patrice has chosen to promote the following values:
“Knowing how to keep on going despite the obstacles, finding the strength and willpower to overcome barriers and reach your goal.”
“Enjoyment is not just about happiness; it’s also the satisfaction you get from pursuing your goal. If that’s missing, you don’t have the same motivation and you can’t push yourself to new heights.”
“Being a leader isn’t having a title; it’s a way of thinking, a way of acting! When that helps inspire and motivate your teammates to move to the next level and, even more importantly, to move together in the same positive direction, the team achieves solidarity and the results are there for all to see!”
A ski enthusiast from a very early age, Jean-Luc Brassard thrilled spectators from around the world with his amazing skills on the snow-covered slopes. Nicknamed “Mogul of Moguls,” he helped to popularize freestyle skiing in Québec. During his career, he amassed 20 World Cups and competed in four Olympic Games. He retired from competition in 2002 and began a career in the media. He was named Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Eloquent and passionate, he is known for championing the healthy and enjoyable practice of the sport and helping to ensure the safety and well-being of participants.
As an Ambassador for Good Sportsmanship, Jean-Luc has chosen to promote the following values:
“I was lucky to have parents who viewed sports as form of self-development, not an end in itself. The game was more important than its outcome. The pleasure was in playing, participating and possibly winning!”
“Solidarity is very important in sports: mutual support among teammates, sharing and team spirit.”
“Having respect for your competitors is as important as having self-respect. You have to respect yourself when making your own choices. If you play your sport with integrity and dignity, you will always come out a winner.”