Varsity sport

Would you like to join the biggest French-speaking varsity sports program in America? When you join the Université de Montréal Carabins, you become part of a community of high-level athletes who encourage each other to bring their A-game to everything they do.

Joining the Carabins

Jessika Boulanger, an occupational therapy student and a member of the Carabins women’s hockey team, and Félix Bellemare, a pharmacy student and a member of the track and field team, talk about their career paths and share their advice on how to chart your future with this storied team. Game on!

Head coaches are responsible for team recruiting. They’re your go-to people, so don’t hesitate to contact them. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and/or direct you to other resources, if needed.

You’ll need to meet some criteria to join les Carabins :

  • Have full-time status (UdeM, HEC or Polytechnique), i.e. registered for a minimum of 9 credits during the competitive season.
  • Have a high level of experience
  • Have been selected by coaching staff to become and official member of the Carabins.

For Jessika Boulanger, varsity recruitment was the logical next step for the girl who has been playing hockey since she was five. She was attracted to play for the Carabins by the sports facilities and by the woman who would become her coach: "My coach is really open, she knowsthe game and she trusts and listensto me. I improveda lotwith her, so I haven’t regrettedmy choice at all!”

Things were a little different for Félix Bellemare. After starting his studies, Félix was scouted by a track and field team coach who saw him run and saw a budding track star.Félix hesitated a bit before accepting the offerbecause he wasn’t sure if could juggle his studies with high-level sports. Today, he’s happy he accepted the challenge to join the Carabins: "At first, with school, I thought that it was going to be too much and that I wouldn't have any time forasocial life, but it's really a matter of being organized and making choices. I even have a part-time job!"

A life-altering experience

Félix and Jessika have both found their place inthe Carabins and both have met some unforgettable people: "If you’re not at school, you’re with your team. It's like a second family,” said Jessika.“It gets so intense when we’re playing! These girls are so motivating.There’s also a great vibe betweenall the Carabins teams." This same sense of belonging pushed Félix to join the Carabins, nicknamed les Bleus.

When the two students were asked what it takes to become a Carabin, they both said: discipline and organization.

"If you can't get organized and get aheadof the game, either sports or school will suffer or both! -Félix Bellemare

It takes perseverance and hard workto move mountains!

[VIDEO] Visite du campus avec les Carabins de l'Université de Montréal

The myths and realities of being a Carabin

With the help of Jessika and Félix, we explored some myths about student members of the Carabins:

Myth 1. Being a Carabin makes you more attractive.

Félix: "I think it can help. Knowing that a person is part of such a group or organization says something about a person and their values."

Jessika:(laughs) "It can't hurt!"

Myth 2. When you’re a member of the Carabins, you’re forced into a routine.

Félix: "It's not really imposed on me, it's more like I impose it on myself. You make the choices you need to make sure you perform and be 100%."

Myth 3. Being a Carabin earns you favours from instructors.

Félix:"No, but if you miss an exam for a competition, the professors are understanding and we always manage to find a compromise.

Jessika:"My teachers are aware of my reality as a student athlete and they keep that in mind."

Myth 4. To become a member of the Carabins, you have to have been playing your sport your whole life.

Félix:"I'm proof that you don’t have to, so it's pretty accessible if you have a talent or a predisposition. But it depends on your sport and your discipline,of course!"

Jessika:"As far as women's hockey goes, you have to have been on a college team before playing."

Myth 5. There’s a real rivalry between the Carabins and sports teams from other universities.

Jessika:"Yes, of course, but off the rink or outside of competition, we lots of respect for everyone who plays the same sport as us."

Myth 6: When you’re a member of the Carabins, you miss a lot of classes.

Félix:"Right now, I rarely miss classes. My schedule works very well with training!

Jessika:"I only miss classes when I have playoff games. If practice conflicts withone of my classes, my coaches want me to prioritize the class."

About the author
Françoise Goulet-Pelletier

Françoise est une fille enjouée et drôle. Son rire particulier est reconnaissable parmi plusieurs (elle a même gagné le rire le plus contagieux au secondaire!). Elle aime jaser (beaucoup), voyager manger et rire (surtout). Cette Gatinoise de souche, maintenant enracinée dans la métropole, adore la télé et le cinéma. Elle est d’ailleurs bachelière en écriture scénaristique et maintenant étudiante à la maîtrise en études cinématographiques. Son rêve serait d’écrire pour la télévision. Important : elle adore les pugs mais personne n’a encore pu diagnostiquer la cause de cette étrange dépendance.

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