Building strong family bonds through sports

This post was written by ParticipACTION Oct 28, 2020 in Family, Fitness, General
father and son on a bike

We need to be positive and open-minded about everything, and being active and being healthy is a big, important part of it. - Dominique Tremblay

Sports, whether in groups or solo, can have life-changing effects on those who make them a part of daily routines – and not just in the physical sense. Take Dominique Tremblay, for example, a two-time Paralympian and now devoted father residing in Laval, Quebec, whose entire life is rooted in sports.

“I met my girlfriend, Emilie, while playing wheelchair basketball,” said Dominique. “At the time, I was living in Ottawa and playing with a team there. Our leagues merged and that’s how we met, we’ve been together since 2007 and now have two young children, Adélianne and Léobert, who are nine and five.”

“I actually used to be an athlete, my wheelchair racing team competed at two Canada Games in 2000 and 2006,” Dominique said. “I’m still involved in sport but more on the administrative side with the Boccia International Sports Federation. At the moment, I’m extremely busy, but it’s important to us and to the kids to be as active as we can.”

Having a busy calendar is something a lot of Canadian parents can relate to, but as noted in the 2020 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, prioritizing family time as active time can go a long way to ensuring both parents and kids get the recommended amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity they need.

As for Dominique, he’s lucky enough to be able to bring his kids to work with him, keeping both himself and his loved ones moving while also giving back to their community at the same time.

“With Bocce, I’m involved in organizing the competitions and as much as I can, I always bring my kids to volunteer,” said Dominique. “Not only so they see that it’s important to give back to the community, but also to be active as much as we can. My daughter came with me for the weekend and she was the score and timekeeper, which she loved. Now every time I go to a competition, she comes with me.”

Prioritizing family time as active time and leading by example are two things that come naturally for Dominique and Emilie, which has a direct, positive influence on their kids – especially his daughter.

“She’s in competitive gymnastics three times a week.” Dominique explained. “I’m proud of her and happy that she’s achieving things on her own. To me, it’s an important thing to remember to always stay positive. It’s also important to let her know that I’m always proud of her, but the biggest thing is to have fun and be proud of yourself.”

With his past and future firmly rooted in sports, both professionally and on the home front, Dominique knows the powerful role they can play when it comes to being an active role model for his kids.

“Parents are the first window to the outside world,” said Dominique. “They [kids] see through our eyes how we behave and how we promote things. So, we need to be positive and open-minded about everything, and being active and being healthy is a big important part of it.”

Posted wtih permission from ParticipACTION. Read more of their blogs here.

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