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Tame winter, one activity at a time!

Getting started

"Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" (My country is not a country, it's winter), as Gilles Vigneault once sang. While I've been familiar with these lyrics for as long as I can remember, I'm not at all familiar with the techniques required for winter sports.

Passionate about cultural leisure and travel, I've always considered myself an active person, but not very sporty. In other words, as an adult, I felt it was too late to take up a winter sport. What's more, I was repulsed by the idea of finding myself slumped on the ground after attempting a "slalom" on skis or a proper stop on skates.

Yet it's with cheeks still rosy from the cold and muscles well warmed up that I write these few lines to conclude a fine day on the slopes.

Like many Quebecers, I was no exception to the trend. For me, the pandemic-induced confinement represented an opportunity to tame outdoor sports and winter. What's more, the outdoors has become essential, a real breath of fresh air and one of the only places to meet and get moving at a time when organized sports and leisure activities are suspended to the rhythm of the variants.

Over the last few cold seasons, armed with a good dose of humility and determined to persevere, I put on second-hand skates and rented skis for the first time since a few childhood attempts. Getting started with these activities cost me very little, I had a few minor falls, but above all I had a great time and a much better perception of the snow.

I'm still not an athlete, but that's the beauty of the outdoors: there's no need to perform, what's important is the well-being provided by the fresh air and the energy expenditure! Winter sports allow us to get moving, while having fun, which has a positive impact on our physical and mental health, as well as boosting our immune system. Being active gives us a good dose of vitamin D, helps us recharge our batteries, reduces the effects of stress and anxiety, and improves the quality of our sleep. Since the benefits are many and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, it's better to start late than never!

Find the winter sport and venue that's right for you

Want to find the winter sport that's right for you, but don't know where to start? Loisir sport Outaouais invites you to visit THE destination for planning your next outdoor getaway: the outdoor portal's activity map. This veritable directory features quality venues for a variety of activities in the Outaouais region, and gives you all the information you need to make your outing a success.

Skiing, skating, hiking or snowshoeing, there's no shortage of options for outdoor play in the region, some of which are very simple and can be done right in your own backyard.

The Snow Castle Challenge, an excuse to play outside!

That's what the Snow Castle Challenge is all about. Enjoy the joys of winter by building a snow castle for a chance to win fabulous participation prizes that will keep you and your family active all season long (information:

It's never too late to start a new winter sport, but in my country it's not winter all year round, so don't wait too long to enjoy it!


By Audrey-Anne Pâquet

Program Coordinator, Loisir sport Outaouais