“Mandate, today, there is only one and that is enjoyment!” Mason shoots FitSpirit into the microphone as teens begin their hundreds at Maisonneuve Park, in Montreal.
Posted at 4:40 PM.
It’s FitSpirit’s day of festivities on Tuesday morning. More than 2,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 17, from dozens of different schools, are expected to participate in the event, which culminates the organization’s year. For the first time in three years – thank you pestilence.
The aim of this gathering, in continuation of the program’s mission, is to provide teenage girls with the opportunity to exercise with friends in a festive atmosphere, without pressure, without judgment, and without competition.
“Our message is that we each have a sport that sticks to our skin,” she explains Journalism FitSpirit founder Claudine Labelle. You just have to find it! This is our mission. He says, “You will go on a trip. If there are barriers that prevent you from doing so, we will remove them.” »
Throughout the park, representatives of various sports federations or organizations welcome young women to make them try out a sport: ultimate frisbee, soccer, ringgit, rugby, judo, handball, boxing, volleyball, aerobics… There is everything to suit all tastes.
At the end of the field, five girls try out yoga and try – unsuccessfully – to balance on one leg. A little later, four others laugh heartily while trying the petanque.
“I really found it cheerful That all girls, we can come and play sports together! Aryan, a 13-year-old triathlete and skater, says he took advantage of the day to try boxing. “Sports bring me happiness. When I feel stressed, what helps me is exercise.”
“According to statistics, 9 out of 10 girls do not do any physical activity,” recalls Alain Telfer, president of the Petanque School of Quebec. If you can make them have fun, even if there is not much physical effort, there are still advantages [à la pétanque]. There is the kinesthetic, sensory, social and intellectual aspect. »
At about 10 am, everyone gathers in front of the large stage set up for the occasion, where a mass warm-up is planned. We don’t have to pray thousands of young women to participate.
At 10:50 a.m., the groups arrived in waves in front of an inflatable arch to set out for 5 kilometres. There are two special guests to cheer on: freestyle skater Justine Dufour-Lapointe and professional dancer and choreographer Kim Gingras, both FitSpirit godmothers.
The goal is to motivate each other girls and has cheerful, to do a sporting activity, to move abroad. And that this activity is a beautiful memory and that the girls continue to maintain these beautiful habits in life throughout their progression and throughout their lives,” says Dufour-Lapointe, who is in her third year as the show’s godmother with her two sisters, Max and Chloe.
“This is FitSpirit, continue. It’s as simple as anything else, but it takes events like this to provide experiences for young people, and give them the opportunity to move in a beautiful context, where they are not judged and there is no competition. […] They don’t need to be Olympic champions, they just need to have flair. »
Kim Gingras, for her part, was the sponsor of the organization for only a few months. The person who danced to superstars like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, during the pandemic, has given virtual conferences with schools enrolled in the Fillactive program.
“I think you have to remain curious. That is what I invite young people to do. [Quand j’étais jeune]I did some karate, badminton, running and gymnastics. When I came across a dance I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s what they call me.” »
FitSpirit celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The program has come a long way since it was founded by Claudine Labelle in 2007. At least 230 schools and 6,250 teenage girls are enrolled.
“I was envisioning something big for FitSpirit, but it’s too big? Too powerful? I can’t believe. We often underestimate the impact we can make in people’s lives. I’ve seen life change. The girls who grew up on FitSpirit came back to me and told me: I’m lucky to have met FitSpirit. Now I want to move in and do it with my gang.”
Her team made sure to be there for the little girls during the pandemic, including offering virtual workouts.
“There were guys who were drowning and it was important to get them suspended,” she said. It was very difficult to find the magic recipe in such complicated circumstances. But I think we honestly succeeded. »
FitSpirit gatherings are also planned in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Rimouski, St. Gertrude Manville and Port-Cartier over the next few days.