Soldier On office opens at Naden

Dan Bourgoin of Personnel Support Services (PSP) is the man in charge of the new regional office for Soldier On which opened at Nelles Block recently. The fitness trainer and instructor says he is looking to hear from potential participants in the program about what sports and activities they enjoy. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Dan Bourgoin of Personnel Support Services (PSP) is the man in charge of the new regional office for Soldier On which opened at Nelles Block recently. The fitness trainer and instructor says he is looking to hear from potential participants in the program about what sports and activities they enjoy. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

If you are an injured veteran or military member looking to improve your level of physical fitness and activity, the director of the new Soldier On regional office wants to hear from you.

The mandate of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) program is to provide resources and opportunities for veterans and current-serving members across Canada with a mind to helping them “adapt and overcome” both physical and mental health injuries through participation in sports and physical fitness activities. Dan Bourgoin, a Personnel Support Services (PSP) employee with over 22 years of experience as a fitness trainer and instructor is the man in charge of the Soldier On Regional Office which recently opened its doors here at the base. 

Located on the ground floor of Nelles Block the office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is one of ten new regional to open across the country. Bourgoin says his first order of business is setting up a dialogue with the military community whether its in-person, over the phone or through Soldier On’s social media platforms. His intention is to gauge people’s interest levels and also find out about the types of activities, sporting goods equipment and support they are looking for Soldier On to deliver.

“My doors are open and I would like to hear from people,” said Bourgoin. “We don’t create events for the sake of creating events, we create opportunities for people who have specific interests in certain sports and activities and we need to establish a network of contacts here in Esquimalt and across B.C. in an effort to help shape our programs.”

While he admits Soldier On is more widely known for its role in organizing Canada’s teams at the widely popular and high-profile Invictus Games and Warrior Games, Bourgoin says the main focus of Soldier On is really to offer year-round activities, support, advice and sports equipment for those looking to enhance their level of fitness. These activities can include sport-specific camps but also group outings like hiking, canoeing and fishing trips too and his organization can also provide participants with the equipment to do it.

He says that patience and a down-to-earth attitude needs to be taken with both participants and administrators when it comes to healing and sports.

“Although they are not an instant, over-night cure-all, good health and peer support have been shown to be helpful tools for many people as they recover from physical and non-physical injuries,” says Bourgoin. “It’s really all about creating an enhanced or more-balanced healthy lifestyle.”

Those benefits pay big dividends says Bourgoin and he should know because for the past 15 years his focus has been at helping members of the military maintain their fitness and combat readiness as both an instructor, trainer and administrator.  His work with the Department of National Defence has taken him to PSP headquarters in Ottawa, CFB Borden and Gagetown, Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., and also military operations in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan.

When Soldier On recently announced it would open 10 regional offices across the country to enhance their level of service, he and his family relocated to Victoria. His office is currently planning for three winter sports events this year. The first two, a ski camp at Mount Washington and a Scuba Diving Camp in Comox, both in Jan. Then in February, Whistler B.C. will again host the Allied Winter Sports Camp a multi-sport event that draws competitors from across Canada and the world.

For more information about Soldier On and its programs visit their website www.soldieron.ca or email Bourgoin directly at SoldierOnBC-CBSanslimites@forces.gc.ca

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Sign-ups on for Allied Winter Sports Camp

Soldier On is looking to attract fresh recruits for its annual Allied Winter Sports Camp which takes place at Whistler BC from February 18 to 27, 2020.

The camp gives ill or injured veterans and currently serving military personnel an opportunity to learn and participate in six different winter sports with other competitors from Australia, United States, United Kingdom.

Event organizers say the intention of the camp is to allow participants the chance to develop new skills, engage with others while personally challenging themselves.

This year’s events will include six competitions involving sledge hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, bobsled and cross-country skiing with assistance provided through the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program.

For more information about eligibility requirements and Soldier On visit their website:
www.soldieron.ca or contact event organizer Sergeant James MacIntire directly at James.MacIntyre3@forces.gc.ca

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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