LONGUEUIL– The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation is pleased to announce that the city of Longueuil has been selected to receive the sixth BLEU BLANC BOUGE outdoor community rink. With the construction of this new rink, the Foundation carries on its flagship project consisting in implementing outdoor multipurpose and refrigerated community rinks outside the Island of Montreal. Construction at Lionel-Groulx Park in Longueuil will get underway in August with a projected opening in the winter of 2015.
The city of Longueuil has embraced the concept of healthy habits for underprivileged youth in cooperation with various partners from the community, local schools and sports associations. In this perspective, the city of Longueuil has adopted a Strategic Development Plan for the long term that will promote and encourage physical activity, sports and a healthy lifestyle.
“As a resident of Longueuil for the past 60 years and as patron of the Foundation, I am very pleased to know that the kids will be enjoying a BLEU BLANC BOUGE rink in the area. There is no doubt that it will have a positive impact on the health of the children in our community,” said former Canadiens captain and Hall of Famer Jean Béliveau.
“The construction of the sixth BLEU BLANC BOUGE community rink is significant for the Foundation. It represents another step towards the implementation of this type of quality multipurpose infrastructure in underprivileged areas outside the Island of Montreal. It will provide the city of Longueuil with an additional playground where children will be able to discover and enjoy the benefits of healthy habits throughout the year,” indicated Geoff Molson, owner, president and CEO of the Montreal Canadiens.
“The outdoor community rink to be built in Longueuil represents a $1.5 million investment in addition to the $3 million investment to promote sport and physical activity to residents of Longueuil, particularly to our youth. With the Québec Games set to take place in Longueuil next summer, and our newly adopted policy aimed at promoting sports and enhancing healthy habits, the construction of this outdoor rink provides our citizens with a new playground to be physically active and develop a passion for our game; hockey. We are grateful to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation for selecting Longueuil to carry on their mandate,” said Caroline St-Hilaire.
These community rinks are characterized as animated gathering areas for sports and physical activity that will provide youth from the neighborhood to discover the benefits of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. To ensure the success of this program, for the activation as well as the suitability of the rink, the Foundation teamed up with Québec en Forme to form a dynamic partnership and share the ultimate goal of improving the health of children living in underprivileged areas. As an organization promoting the well-being of children, Québec en Forme works together with the Foundation in selecting the district and the community partners towards the development of an efficient activation of the facilities and to assess the impact of the program.
“We believe that children must have easy access to efficient infrastructures close to their home at a young age where they are likely to have fun and have a good chance at developing healthy habits,” said Québec en Forme interim general manager, Julie Dostaler.
Built in accordance with NHL standards and dimensions (200 feet by 85 feet), the artificial ice outdoor rink at Lionel-Groulx Park will feature a quality of ice that matches the high standards of professional rinks. It will also offer the flexibility necessary to accommodate the practice of other seasonal sports activities. The skating season will last from the end of November until mid-March, while various types of ball games, such as basketball, soccer, and street hockey as well as a variety of different sporting activities will take over for the spring, summer and fall months.
About the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
The Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation provides help and support to children in need. Since its inception in August 2000, the Foundation has donated upwards of $16 million to more than 500 charitable endeavors from across the province of Quebec who work for the well-being of underprivileged children. The Foundation fulfills its mandate in two ways: first, through a unique flagship project – the BLEU BLANC BOUGE program - which consists of building community refrigerated and multisport rinks, secondly by providing financial support to organizations whose projects and programs allow children to adopt healthy lifestyles by being more active and eating better.