“This event is very important, because it shows Portage residents they are not alone in their quest for sobriety. More than a sporting event, the Olympiads are an opportunity for residents to talk together about their life experience and to encourage each other to persevere on the road to freedom from addiction,” said Serge Comeau, Regional Director of Community Services at Portage Saint-Malachie.
From August 11th to 14th, young residents from the Portage centres in Elora, Ontario, Cassidy Lake, New Brunswick, and Beaconsfield, Lac Echo and Saint-Malachie in Québec, got together for the 16th Portage Olympiads held in Saint-Malachie.
This annual summer happening includes five sporting events: hockey, soccer, voleyball, flag football and cross-country running. It’s a great opportunity for residents to strengthen their team spirit and peer support, both of which are essential features of a stay at Portage.
Competition was tight throughout the four-day event. In the end, the highest medal count went to Saint-Malachie, with 8 medals (5 gold and 3 bronze), followed by the West Island with 6 medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze), Elora, also with 6 medals (1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze), and Lac Echo (2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze), which tied with Cassidy Lake (4 silver, 1 bronze) at 5 medals.
The guest of honour, M. Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Health and Civil Protection and MP for Lévis-Bellechasse, highlighted the efforts of the youths and handed out the medals. “I am very proud to acknowledge the courage and determination of the Portage residents and to call attention to Portage’s important work in the fight against drug addiction, not only here in my county, at Saint-Malachie, but in its eleven rehabilitation centres across Canada. Its impact on people’s lives is incomparable and generates long-term outcomes”, he said.