Champlain postpones wall of champions celebration, Cougars fall to Limoilou

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Champlain Regional College planned to honour another crop of former outstanding school athletes at this year’s wall of champions event, but the threat of COVID-19 forced organizers to postpone the second annual celebration.
Champlain immortalized three football championship winning teams from 1975, 1979, and 1981 at the inaugural event last fall. This year the school wanted to honour the first two hockey teams to bring home the gold.
“We’re trying to do more events like this and build on our wall of champions and invite everybody that was part of those championship years, but with Covid we had to put a stop to it because obviously we cannot get people together and we want it to be fun,” said Sylvain Laflamme, Champlain’s athletics director.
According to Laflamme, they have yet to decide on a new date. With so much up in the air, he said, the best the school can do is wait for the pandemic to subside before making a final decision on a date and time for 2021.
Before the project came to fruition in 2019, Champlain never had a spot within the building honouring past champions. They decided to pursue the wall of champions idea after months of deliberation with coaches, administration and former athletes.
“We wanted to do something, but we weren’t sure what to do and what was feasible because obviously we don’t have the same budgets as pro teams, so we’re trying to do something that could be fun,” Laflamme said.
He added that it’s important to recognize the school’s history and sports is a major part of that. Champlain is known for its excellence in several sports, but especially in football. The division one team claimed another Bol d’Or championship last season.
Roughly 60 alumni showed up to last year’s event, Laflamme continued, and it felt as though they had never truly left campus. It was as if they had just won their championships, he explained, everyone was reminiscing about the glory days.
However, postponing the annual event acted as another reminder that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of sports and large gatherings. The cegep is currently drawing up a schedule for the hockey season.
But with a number of Quebec regions moving into code orange and Montreal and Quebec City flirting dangerously close to code red, it seems more and more unlikely to happen. Although the football team did manage to get a game in last week and hopes of another this weekend.
“There’s one game planned for this coming Saturday at Triolet, but we’re still not sure if it’ll happen because some regions are turning red, so that might put an end to it,” said Laflamme.
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