Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux always wanted to be at Concordia
The Concordia Stingers’s strength and conditioning coordinator, Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, who is a member of the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame, has been to five national championships with the women’s hockey team.
It was when she participated in the 1993 Canadian Junior Hockey Championship presented at Concordia that Breton-Lebreux’s life changed. The St-Zacharie native, 15 years old at the time, said she didn’t know university hockey existed prior to the tournament.
“We, team Quebec, were changing in the Stingers’s locker room. I then saw all the pictures [of the Stingers hockey teams] and realized [university hockey] existed,” said Breton-Lebreux, who decided then she wanted to play for Concordia. “At that moment I started having a dream, not only to go to the Olympic Games, but to learn English, come to Concordia and one day become captain. It was my dream, and from there I started training a lot.”
Breton-Lebreux, who is in charge of strength and conditioning for all Stingers teams except men’s basketball, already knew she wanted to work in that department since her first years with the Stingers. She said she loved her training experience, given by Reg Grant at the time, followed by Scott Livingston.
“I was at all their trainings,” Breton-Lebreux said. “They had summer trainings at 7 a.m. and I was there three times a week. I was passionate.”
The strength and conditioning coordinator loves her role at Concordia. Breton-Lebreux said there was no doubt in her mind that this is where she wanted to work.
“I love it,” Breton-Lebreux. “I’ve been training since the age of 13. Training is a passion for me, and this is where I wanted to work.”
An impressive fact about Breton-Lebreux is that she co-founded the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), which Les Canadiennes de Montréal are part of. The four-time Clarkson Cup winner, as part of the CWHL’s championship team, said the league was founded when the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) ceased activities in 2007.
“In the NWHL, there were different owners who were paying for their team’s costs,” Breton-Lebreux said. “In 2007, there had been conflicts [related to money]. Owners then closed the league. It wasn’t making sense because you had a lot of players, with many of them being the best players in the world, not having a place to play.”
Another interesting aspect of Breton-Lebreux’s life is her roller hockey career. She said her passion for roller hockey actually started at Concordia.
“We had a roller hockey league during the summer,” Breton-Lebreux said. She then decided to establish a women’s team, as a complement to ice hockey. “I heard there was a Canadian [roller hockey] team, so I went to the team’s training camp in Toronto and I made the team.”
Despite not realizing her dream of being an Olympian in ice hockey, Breton-Lebreux succeeded in roller hockey, and made the national team in 2006.
“I was always in the best scorers in the league,” she said about her Olympic dream. “Yet, I was always being told I had something missing. That’s because chances to continue in the program are better if you make the team before the age of 22, and because I didn’t, I was like the seventh defenceman.”
In 2006, the Canadian team told Breton-Lebreux she wouldn’t make the Olympic team, and thought her dream to represent Canada would be over. “Yet, I had the opportunity to make the Canadian [roller hockey] team, and I went to the World Roller Hockey Championships and won the tournament. Life gave it back to me,” she said.
Main photo by Alec Brideau.