Be strong, Pontiac: community gym coming to Quyon

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Kate Aley

Getting fit and staying strong is an integral part of healthy living. Now these goals will be even easier to achieve in this municipality.

Catherine Beaudet, executive director of the Quyon Maison de la Famille (QMdlF), has managed to find funding to support the creation of a community gymnasium based in Quyon.

The news was made public at the QMdlF's Annual General Meeting on June 20. Beaudet had promised a special announcement after the usual AGM  business and she certainly delivered.

"I applied to the Centre Intégré de Santé et services sociaux en Outaouais​ (CISSSO) for the Fonds de soutien communautaire and this is not usually the kind of project they are able to fund," Beaudet told Pontiac2020.ca the day after the AGM. "But they approved the project. Now we need someone to coordinate the project and we need lots of partners to support us. But we do have the funding to hire someone to coordinate the project and to buy equipment."

The Maison launched a survey last spring to find out the needs of the community and a gym or fitness center was high on the list of responses. "A lot of people want this service", said Beaudet. "I want people to know that now it is going to happen."

Beaudet envisions a space with one area for equipment like free weights, stationary cycles and treadmills and another area for classes, such as Pilates, yoga and activities for seniors.

"The goal is to make the gym very affordable for everyone, perhaps only $10 a month, as well as offering a special family fee," she said. "I hope the gym will be a social place; it'll be an opportunity to meet new people. There will be a social exchange through exercise. The whole community will be involved."

Beaudet hopes the gym will appeal to all age levels; for example, by incorporating seniors activities in the morning and after-school fitness classes for children and youth after school.

"The positive effect of exercise and physical activity for young people is well-proven," she continued. "It's great modeling for kids to see their parents working out. A gym in Montreal trained their youth to run a marathon. The effect was like a global change on health and their outlook on life. It made the kids ask themselves: 'I did this, so what else can I achieve?' It is social change through exercise."

Although Beaudet still needs to hire her project coordinator and decide on a site for the gym, she is determined to open the establishment by January 2018.

"Just in time to keep those new years resolutions," she added with a laugh.

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More news from the MdlF Annual General Meeting coming soon.