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A memorable victory for the Carabins women’s hockey team

April 7, 2016, 2:57pm

On March 20 at the CIS National Championships, the Carabins women’s hockey team beat the UBC Thunderbirds by a resounding 8-0 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary. It was a decisive victory and the team’s second national title in its young history. It was also its fifth consecutive medal at the Canadian Championships.

I am delighted by this win, as it exemplifies the exceptional growth of a team created just seven years ago by Danièle Sauvageau. It also reinforces my decision a few years ago to become involved with the Carabins Excellence in Sports Program. This is a flagship Campus Montréal project and one that I am particularly attached to, not only because I’m such an ardent fan of the Carabins, but also because it embodies values that I hold dear.

Carabins Excellence in Sports Program: the road to success

University sports play a vital role in our society, and it is therefore important that we encourage and back them. In the Carabins Excellence in Sports Program, athletic performance must go hand in hand with strong academic results. In fact the program’s reputation has been built on this requirement. It provides students with access to advanced training and education at HEC Montréal, École Polytechnique Montréal or Université de Montréal. In addition, what they learn through their sport allows them to excel, reach their full potential and contribute to the betterment of our society. By combining university studies with high-level training, student-athletes develop qualities such as discipline, focus, perseverance, strength of character and team spirit, which will make them the leaders of tomorrow.

Helping young people win

Through the Carabins Excellence in Sports Program, student athletes such as the Carabins women’s hockey team gain unique experience that will stay with them for life. Their most recent victory came as the result of hard work and determination. I would also be remiss if I did not underscore the exceptional work of Danièle Sauvageau, executive director of the Carabins women’s hockey program. Danièle understood the importance of creating a high-calibre club within the Carabins organization, and in just a few years she successfully built a great team whose games I never miss. Danièle is assisted by Isabelle Leclaire, the team’s head coach; Manon Simard, director of student athletics; and Paul Krivicky, executive director of the CEPSUM. Together, and with the help of the many Carabins collaborators, they do a tremendous job. I am proud to be associated with this success.

To encourage the next generation of players, promote ongoing excellence and continue to chalk up successes and victories, the program must be supported. In recent years, the Carabins have benefited from significant donations. Like Robert Panet-Raymond, the Molson family and the members of the Club des Gouverneurs du sport d’excellence de l’Université de Montréal, I also supported the program in 2013. These donations help strengthen and enhance the academic, athletic and medical backing the student-athletes receive.

To celebrate the victory of our women’s hockey team, why not make your own gesture of support for the Carabins? All donations count, regardless of the amount, because they help develop and encourage young talent.

Once again, congratulations to our women’s hockey team. Allez les Bleues!

Guy Fréchette

HEC Montréal alumnus, member of the Club des Gouverneurs du sport d’excellence de l’Université de Montréal, corporate director, Ernst & Young retiree, ardent Carabins fan.

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