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Unity through sports – A Sun Youth story

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Sun Youth story – Since Sun Youth and its sports teams were founded in 1954, thousands of people have taken part in its activities. Many of them have developed long-term friendships or a passion for coaching, and some have pursued professional careers in sports. Many former Sun Youth athletes have gone on to university.

Philippe Labrecque, a former football player at Sun Youth and now a coach for its Midget football team, is a good example of this. Philippe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Concordia University, as well as a Certificate in European Political Studies from the Institute of Political Studies in Strasbourg and a Master’s degree from King’s College in London. He is currently a Marketing Development Analyst, but has also worked as a journalist, in particular with the Huffington Post. He is the author of the book Comprendre le conservatisme en quatorze entretiens (“Understanding Conservatism in fourteen interviews”), which was the subject of an interview conducted by Sun Youth’s Director of Communications, Ann St Arnaud.

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Although the organization’s former athletes all have different backgrounds, there’s one thing that brings them together: an understanding of the sense of community. “I would say that sports and coaching play an important role in preserving a community on a small scale, that of a neighborhood, a group of young athletes, a community organization”, explains Mr. Labrecque in his interview. “In their very nature, the sports teams at Sun Youth (and those in various neighborhoods and regions) characterize this notion of proximity, where young players often literally live a few blocks from the football field or the sports center, and go to the same schools. This closeness helps to create relationships and build common memories that are shared by people who live together and form a community on a daily basis.”

The importance of the community goes beyond sports. This is a fundamental aspect of life, and our former athletes have discovered this at an early age. Another important lesson they learn is to trust both themselves and others, and to strive to build projects in which they will evolve with others. It is this spirit of sharing and the constant desire to grow with the community that has defined Sun Youth from the very beginning. Beyond helping acquire physical skills and improve performance, its sports teams contribute to the formation of the identity of individuals, and teaches them that united, we multiply our strengths, on the field and in life. “As coaches, we hope that the lessons players learned on the football field will also serve them in their personal lives and in their involvement with the community, and that they will help them serve others and preserve the spirit of community itself,” concludes Labrecque. Read the full interview 

Montreal Times October 5, 2019 Page 18

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