It takes an incredible amount of effort and good decisions to build a successful athletics program. Some have accomplished what was initially perceived as unconceivable and have succeeded in becoming influencers and leaders in their market. Others have literally became an inspiration for their local communities.

What does it take to build such a successful environment?

Here at Athlex, we are lucky to be working with such incredible organizations and one relationship that makes us particularly proud is our association with Université Laval’s Rouge et Or, one of the most successful athletic program in Canada.

My partners and I have had the opportunity to be part of their golf program during our college years, which definitely makes it extra special for us. The Rouge et Or program is respected across the country and has become a great source of pride in Quebec City. They’ve been able to build and sustain a structure and an atmosphere that allows them to attract talent and character year after year.

The Rouge et Or Football is one of the youngest team on the Canadian university circuit. Founded in 1996, Laval won their first national championship in 1999 and have won 9 Vanier Cup championships over the last 20 years.

This success naturally contributed to an amazing, faithful fan base. Obviously, money and tradition cannot explain how this came to happen so quickly. What was and still is the magical ingredient to this team success?

This is a tough question with several variables involved, but everything seems to start with leadership and passion. When the people in charge are ready to go where others won’t, when you are willing to put everything on the table, the resulting pride of being part of the program becomes an incredible trademark, funnelling quality in the recruitment stages and then promoting athletic success.

My Own Story

From my perspective as a former college athlete at Laval and as the consecutive winner of the 2009 and 2010 University Provincial Golf Championship, there is one thing that clearly stands out. I remember how proud my coaches and the program managers were to represent the school in tournaments and in their everyday life. Looking in their eyes when they would talk about their team or program, you could tell how inspired they felt to be representing the Rouge et Or.

Having our coaches being able to communicate that passion played a huge role in inspiring my teammates and I and that it’s one of the reasons we felt so compelled to compete for our program.

We were forgetting our own personal gains and instead working hard to honour and perpetuate the successes obtained before us.

My time with the Rouge et Or golf program felt different than anything else I had the opportunity to experience before. While we’re used to mostly think about ourselves in golf, our coaches had the ability to make us feel like we were more than golf players. We were the faces of the Rouge et Or program. In all honesty, I can tell you that I miss this feeling a lot. Never had I felt that I could have such an impact for an athletic group before and it made me play the best golf of my life.

Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ‘me’ for the ‘we’. – Phil Jackson, Basketball

A lot has changed since I’ve graduated from university. But it still seems like the pillars of a successful program are still found in leadership, pride and common goals.

As I’ve personally evolved from a student-athlete to starting my own business in technology, I’m proud today that Athlex is helping such a successful program as the Rouge et Or continue to honor its tradition of greatness by promoting efficient collaboration through real-time communication and chat-based technologies.