By Alec Connor, Co-op Student with the Guard –
There’s really no better way than practicing sports to stay healthy and happy, and in the NCR, CAF members have a unique opportunity to do so through PSP intramural and extramural sports. Intramural sports programs are non-competitive local military teams or civilian leagues that promote fun and fitness, while extramural sports compete in CAF regional and national championships. Sports aren’t just fun, however; they also are integral to CAF culture and are essential for ensuring operational readiness and proper self-care, along with building esprit de corps. Currently eight sports are recruiting: hockey, basketball, indoor soccer, badminton, volleyball, triathlon, squash, and rugby, and all Regular and Reserve Force members with a valid FORCE evaluation can join.
These programs have made a real difference in the fitness of many CAF members throughout the NCR and beyond. For example, Major Stéphane Bourque, the manager of the Old Timers Men’s Hockey Team, the “Olde Generals”, said that “The main goal of the team is for members to keep a good level of fitness and play competitive hockey while at the same time enjoying good camaraderie with fellow CAF members … if you have the skills and still like to play competitive hockey in an friendly environment then the Olde Generals is a good option to keep fit”.
For those who are more competitive, PSP teams can boast of impressive records and successes. The Men’s Volleyball Team, to use just one example, has accumulated more than eight national titles and three Canadian Armed Forces Team of the Year Awards since 2004. Competition can be fun, too, as shown by Captain Amatsou Diallo’s experience, who said that competitions were “definitely the highlight of my career. It was a great experience playing against players with such a high level of basketball. I liked the camaraderie between the teams and the friends I made all around the world.”
With weekly practices located across the NCR and the opportunity to compete if you so choose, NCR CAF teams are a great opportunity to put your skills to the test or learn new ones, in an environment of camaraderie and healthy competition. Those interested joining should consult PSP Ottawa’s website for more details.
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