Ultimate Canada Magazine – April 19, 2018
Written by: Rebecca Thompson

Every year, the Jeux de Montréal takes over the city for a few days in April and sees kids from the ages of 6-12 from different neighbourhoods compete against each other in a number of sports.

The games featured Ultimate as a mixed gendered sport. Photo/Christian D’Auteuil

The Jeux de Montréal is the first competitive sports events for thousands of kids. There were more than 5000 kids competing in 29 different sports and representing 19 delegations. There were 130 ultimate players for the competition.

This year marked the fourth year that Ultimate has been included in the games. Starting back in 2014 with only three neighbourhoods and four teams competing in the event, to 2018 which featured 12 neighbourhoods (out of 19) and 16 teams in the tournament.

Christian D’auteuil, of Ultimate Grand Montreal (UGM), said that this is his favourite event to be a part of each year.

Jean-Lévy Champagne coaches his team at the games. Photo/Christian D’Auteuil

“We organize around 10 tournaments a year, this one is my favourite for the inspirational factor and introducing the sport to new families and new parents,” D’auteuil continued. “The kids are there to have fun, as well as to compete but it’s so great to see the smiles and the learning with a Frisbee in their hands.”

This year, Ultimate was able to have two divisions, ages 6-8 in one and 9-12 in the other. The participants choose one sport to play in the games each year. The event has a mix of kids who have experience with Ultimate as well as those who are new to the sport.

There are volunteers on the sidelines to help with rule explanations and calls, as well as some in the bleachers who explain to the parents what is going on for those parents who are also new to the sport.

Ambassador Jessie Grignon Tomás speaks to the kids at the games. Photo/Christian D’auteuil

Ambassadors are selected each year to be representatives for the games. This year there were four ambassadors; Olympic bronze medalist Josée Bélanger, Lysanne Richard a skydiver and defending world champion, NFL player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Team Canada World Games Ultimate player Jessie Grignon Tomás.

“I was surprised by the high level of play and very happy to see their smile on their faces,” said Grignon Tomás about her experience at the games. “I really enjoyed meeting the kids and parents, everybody was enthusiastic and curious about Ultimate.”

Over the last few years, Ultimate has become a mainstay at the Jeux de Montréal and there is no doubt that it will continue to grow in the years to come.