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Marc DeBlois: The Man Behind the 55th Jeux du Québec’s Finals
His attachment and pride for his hometown pushed him
to take on a major challenge: directing 2020’s Jeux du Québec, the most
sought-after project in Laval. Introducing Marc DeBlois, a man who stands out
through his collaborative management and teamwork.
Seven months before the deadline, the Director-General of the 55th edition of the Jeux du Québec awaits in the largest room of the Maison des Jeux, located in the Bois-de-Boulogne sports center.
Thirty employees are already busy working on making the games a success. The excitement will reach its peak from July 31st to August 8th, 2020, when Laval will host 3, 300 athletes from 19 regions across Quebec and welcome 135,000 visitors.
Previously, in 1991, this former physical education teacher was responsible for all cycling events at the 27th Jeux du Québec. Back then, the event’s kick off took place at the Centre de la nature, in Laval.
Today, the 61-year-old goes back to his roots. "By accepting this challenge, I said to myself: I want do something meaningful for my community,” explains the man who worked 29 years for the City of Laval, for the department of community, culture and communications.
After his retirement in 2013, he directed the Cosmodôme, a tourist attraction with over 140,000 visitors a year.
Motivating and mobilizing
The Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Jeux du Québec 2020, Yves Chartrand, recruited DeBlois among sixty candidates. "Sports fascinate him,” says Mr. Chartrand. “I was looking for a someone that gets young people. He understands the social mission of the event and there is no one better to mobilize the community."
In an interview, DeBlois describes the marathon that he faces with his team. The work involves the organization of 17 competitions, which requires finding sites, food and transportation for thousands of athletes.
"Planning is fundamental for the success of the games,” he says. The organizing committee, which was set up in June 2018, benefit from the contribution of 10 coordinators and five directors, responsible for logistics, human resources, communications, sports operations and finance.
1, 200 volunteers
In the midst of labor shortages,DeBlois has already successfully recruited 1, 200 volunteers out of the 3,000 needed. "We are ahead of schedule,” he specifies. “We have a whole team that is dedicated to recruiting."
The resident of Laval has set up a strategy encouraging the hiring of volunteers among young people, but also among companies, professionals and seniors. Humble, DeBlois attributes this success to the skill of his teammates.
"Marc never puts himself at the front of the parade. He is behind and pushes his team forward so that everyone can exceed expectations,” says Chartrand.
Trusting the plan
DeBlois’s life experience helps him overcome possible stress. For example, 200 days prior to the games, one would expect him to be nervous when looking the amount of work to be done. On the contrary, he remains calm and serene. "I trust our plan. I often tell myself: we will get there, but I will not hide the fact that the challenge ahead of us is huge."
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