City, Their Opportunity launching Bruno Gendron Bike Program

Anil Jhalli
City, Their Opportunity launching Bruno Gendron Bike Program
(Photo : File photo)

The City of Clarence-Rockland and a national charity are teaming up to provide local youth the opportunity to learn the skills and fundamentals of cycling, while preserving the legacy of an Ottawa Police Service officer.   

Along with Their Opportunity, a Canadian children’s charitable organization that delivers and subsidizes local sport for development and community engagement programming, the City of Clarence-Rockland are launching the Bruno Gendron Bike Program.  

The five-week initiative starts on July 6 and ends on Aug 10. Aimed at children between the ages of seven and 12, the partnership between the municipality and the charity provides the participants the chance to cycle through Larose Forest and the Prescott-Russell Trails.  

«We are really hoping that this (the Bruno Gendron Bike Program) opens the door to many more future partnerships between the City and Their Opportunity,» said Martin Irwin, manager of recreation and culture with the City of Clarence-Rockland. «They are doing great things for children across the country, and we are really lucky to team up with them for this program.» 

Gendron was a beloved police officer and paramedic who grew up in Rockland. He died at the age of 47 after a cardiac event while biking near Casselman in November of 2020. 

Gendron loved golf and hockey and knew the value of sports for children. He had deep roots in Ottawa’s amateur hockey scene. He was a player, referee, coach and president of the Eastern Ontario Cobras Hockey organization.  

His family created the Bruno Gendron Foundation in his honour and are providing support towards the bike program that’s launching in July.  

«We are honoured, and lucky, to be a beneficiary of the Bruno Gendron Foundation,» said Matthew Cronin, the director of National Programs and Communications with Their Opportunity. «Bruno loved sports, he loved cycling, and he also loved helping his community.» 

Each participant will be given the necessary equipment needed during their time in the program, while also being trained in First Aid, AED and CPR.  

The children are taking part in the program one day a week, for a two-hour period, which includes a 45-minute bike ride through the trails.  

«We are eliminating that financial barrier, but also, that inclusion barrier,» added Cronin. «We want kids to learn about cycling, but also build that confidence to be able to take a ride in the beautiful trails there are in this area. We are giving them the tools, the coaching and whatever they need to be able to try cycling, if this is something they want to try, but haven’t had the chance to try before.  

Cronin said there are already discussions with the City of Clarence-Rockland regarding more future partnerships supporting under-serviced youth in the community through the power of sport.  

«We are going to continue to work with the City and understand what the youth in this community need,» said Cronin. «We are really excited and are really coming up with some ideas and hopefully, these ideas span out over the next three to five years in the city of Clarence-Rockland.» 


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