What if Quebec had its national teams?

What if Quebec had its national teams?

Can Quebec delegate sports teams on the international stage? The answer is yes. The practice is not widespread, mainly due to our political status. The question sparks heated debates between those who support this ideology and those who strongly oppose it.

This is especially true for hockey.

Each year, the selection of players for Team Canada Junior in Quebec causes controversy.

We saw it again last month with Zachary Bolduc, who was cut at the end of Canada training camp.

Should Hockey Quebec ask the International Hockey Federation to grant it non-sovereign nation status?

For Marc De Foy's report on Quebec, represented in the

Photo courtesy of the Équipe Québec Foundation

With that, Quebec could be represented at world championships.

Some Québec sports federations have chosen to go this route. They are not numerous and in particular do not benefit from visibility comparable to hockey and football. But they have the merit of trying.

In this way, Quebec hockey and wallball teams will be participating in top international competitions in the coming months.

United World Games

Dek hockey has been included as the 13th sport in the United World Games, a UNESCO-sponsored event that brings together athletes aged 12 to 17 from around 30 countries. Presented annually in Klagenfurt, Austria, these games will take place from June 22nd to 25th.

Boys’ and girls’ teams will defend the Quebec colors at U18, U16 and U14. The delegation will consist of 90 athletes and around 30 companions.

For Marc De Foy's report on Quebec, represented in the

Photo courtesy of the Équipe Québec Foundation

These games will be followed by the Ball Hockey World Championship from June 26 to July 2 in Liberec, Czech Republic. We will remember that Quebec was the scene of this competition last year.

Quebec is represented by men’s and women’s teams in the U20 and U19 categories, in which they hold the titles of world champions.

The group will include about thirty athletes and about twenty companions.

Finally, in March in Valencia, Spain, Quebec will be present at the World Pelota Championship, which includes four sports: ball on the wall, fronton, which resembles ball on the wall, llargues and the international game, which are derivatives of Basque pelota .

Team Quebec Foundation

Who provides transport and accommodation?

You will suspect that the associations concerned do not have the means.

Parents pay for the costs, and that’s where the Équipe Québec Foundation, led by former NHL hockey player Robert Sirois and his sidekick Stefan Allinger, comes in.

For Marc De Foy's report on Quebec, represented in the

Photo courtesy of the Équipe Québec Foundation

For those who don’t already know, this organization advocates the formation of Quebec national teams on the international stage in every sport.

The foundation donates tens of thousands of dollars from donations from citizens and business people, from Bloc and Parti Québécois MPs, which are used to create uniforms that emphasize Québec identity.

A first banquet

François Legault campaigned for the cause a few years ago. Robert Sirois wants the Prime Minister to dig back into his pocket along with other public figures.

A first banquet, the proceeds of which will be used to finance the foundation, will take place in October.

Quebec athletes who have distinguished themselves internationally are honored on this occasion.

For Marc De Foy's report on Quebec, represented in the

“We could invoke the primogeniture”

Robert Sirois insists and signs. For him there is no doubt that Quebec could delegate its own ice hockey teams on the international stage.

“The former President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, René Fasel, has already stated that Quebec would likely be accepted to become part of the IIHF,” said the founder of the Équipe Québec Foundation.

“We could invoke birthright since hockey has its roots in Montreal. If we had a team at the World Junior Championships, we would make 23 of our players visible. All National League Scouts, Head Scouts and General Managers participate in this tournament. »

Robert Sirois, Team Quebec Foundation.

Archive photo

Robert Sirois, Team Quebec Foundation.

Sirois believes that such an approach could be extended to all sports and that it would be easy for Quebec political authorities to move forward.

“All François Legault would have to do is negotiate an agreement similar to that of the UK giving its nations the right to compete in international competitions,” he said.

The United Kingdom consists of four constituent nations namely England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Even Puerto Rico

You may be surprised to learn that on September 29, Puerto Rico was admitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation as the 83rd member and fourth non-sovereign nation.

The Puerto Rico Hockey Federation, formed in 2020, has 205 members. The population of the island is 3.1 million.

A preseason game between the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers was screened in 2006 at the Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in the capital, San Juan.

The municipality of Aguadilla, on the west coast of the island, has had its own ice rink since 2004. A small ice rink for three-on-three hockey faces a beach but is closed due to damage from one of many hurricanes that have struck the island in recent years.

The Iroquois accepted

In addition, an Aboriginal lacrosse team, the Iroquois Nationals, competed in the World Games, held in Birmingham, Alabama last year, after being initially disqualified.

As a member of World Lacrosse, formerly known as the International Lacrosse Federation, the Iroquois team was disqualified from participating because it did not meet the International Olympic Committee’s eligibility criteria.

However, it is known that lacrosse was invented by the Aborigines and that is why the Iroquois team was finally admitted to the World Games.

Now the aim is to participate in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where lacrosse is to be presented as a demonstration sport.

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