Concordia University reversed its reputation as being a loser 8212; and it took less than one week of competition.
For years, Concordia students finished last or second-to-last at the all-French Communications Games, an annual competition where students from a number of Canadian universities are challenged in fields of media studies, journalism, debate and advertising, among others.
This year, however, the delegation walked away with a third place overall finish, and two gold medals, after competing in the 13 challenges. One of the first-place finished was earned in debate by delegate Hugo Pilon-Larose. The other was won in the sports competition 8212; a Dance Dance Revolution dance-off.
“It was especially terrific for Concordia,” said Thomas Daigle, one of 33 delegates and three volunteers who represented Concordia at this year’s competition, held at UniversitÃ© de Moncton. “I think we were usually viewed as spectators at the Games. We knew we would do well, maybe not top three, but it was more surprising for the other universities than it was for us.”
There were a few major factors that contributed to the team’s overhaul, Daigle said, but one stood out in particular. “The three organizers really gave us a boost,” he said, speaking of the three co-presidents, Charles D’Amboise, Sabrina Allard and Julien Gauthier. “They really motivated us.”
The co-presidents were elected almost one year ago. For the past five months, they held weekly practices for the delegates.
“Some members had stronger qualities,” said Daigle, who was making his third appearance 8212; and second for Concordia 8212; at the Games. “But everybody worked hard and was motivated. And the team was terrific.”
To make it to the Games, delegates are asked to contribute a fee in the fall. That amount is combined with funds from sponsors and a grant from the university.
Nine universities participated this year, with UniversitÃ© de QuÃ©bec Ã MontrÃ©al taking top honours, and UniversitÃ© de Laval coming in second.
As a predominantly English school, coming in third is especially significant, Daigle said. “It’s confirmation that students Concordia can perform well in French.”