Saint-Malachie, August 12, 2016 - In the spirit of the Rio Olympics currently taking place, Portage's drug addiction rehabilitation centre in Saint-Malachie, Québec hosted teams from Portage’s youth centres in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Prévost, Québec for the 18th annual Portage Games this week.
This annual gathering is a great opportunity for the youth from different parts of the country to come together and share their stories and experiences in rehabilitation treatment, all the while practicing the teamwork skills that they are learning in therapy and getting some exercise. During the four-day sporting event, the teams faced off in friendly games of volleyball, ball hockey, flag football, soccer, basketball, and street dance competitions.
“Many of these youth had lost touch with how much they used to enjoy playing team sports before their addiction issues took over their lives,” stated Serge Comeau, Regional Director of Community Services. “The Portage Games gives participants the opportunity to have some fun, make new positive friendships, and practice the tools they have been learning in treatment, which seek to help them manage the challenges of everyday life without resorting to drug abuse.”
Mr. Daniel Paré, President and Executive Director of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) for the Chaudière-Appalaches region, presided over the Portage Games’ medal ceremony for the second year in a row.
Portage Saint-Malachie has been preparing for this big event over the past few months with the help of the community. Volunteers from Norton Rose Fulbright and Fondation PwC spent a day at the centre to help the residents and staff members prepare the grounds to host the event. A $4,000 contribution from a group of Social Work students at UQAR, raised from their annual bike-a-thon, was also put towards the Portage Games.
Since 1973, Portage has helped thousands of people overcome their substance abuse issues. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of adults, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers with young children, and people with mental illness. Portage’s services, offered free of charge, are recognised and accredited by Accreditation Canada with Exemplary Standing. Portage operates drug addiction rehabilitation treatment centres in Québec, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.