Big GDPL march: bring young people back to sport

Great GDPL march: bring young people back to sport


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the physical health of Quebecers in general, as many young people have given up the sport they practiced. Pierre Lavoie has thus given himself the mission of bringing these young people back to physical activity, on the sidelines of the Great Fall Walk of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie (GDPL). 

A true figurehead for the practice of physical activity in Quebec, particularly among young people, Pierre Lavoie had often said he was happy with the progress he witnessed at each GDPL event. The pandemic, however, has set back his cause.

“Where we have lost is sports in general, especially among young people. We lacked intervention plans for them, we lacked ideas, we lacked courage, we lacked initiatives, protested Lavoie, reached on the phone. Society has failed young people, not just the government. We really should have made emergency plans for the young people.”

It will therefore be a long-term job before returning to the same status as before the pandemic, but the Great Fall March is a step forward.

An increasingly popular march

Compared to that of 2021, when 89 municipalities had organized rallies in order to cover the recommended distance of five kilometers, more than a hundred municipalities will organize them in 2022.

There are also more than 75,000 people who were registered on the site of the Great March, Thursday evening. Interested parties can still enlist throughout the weekend. The GDPL will try to surpass its 2021 participation record, when 134,574 people walked five kilometers.

“My greatest pride is above all to see the cities that raise their hands, that decide to organize them in their corners and which make their citizens walk, added Pierre Lavoie. This is another good news, because walking, we realized during COVID, that it saved our buttocks. It was pretty much the only thing we could do and we could go outside without danger and we realized that it was very good for mental health and physical health. A lot of people have adopted it and that's very good news.”

• La Grande Marche will be held from Friday to Sunday, everywhere in Quebec.