Kicking Through COVID


Six-year-old Nicholas Rivest, like many Canadian kids, just wanted to play hockey. His mother, Julie, had another path in mind: karaté. Nicholas got on board and is now almost two decades into his karaté journey. The discipline and rigour of karaté clicked with Nicholas and his success at regional competitions led him all the way to international levels by the age of 14.

Flash forward to the present: the whole family is involved with running a dojo, Rivest Karaté, located in Perkins, Val des Monts. It’s a true family affair with Nicholas and his brothers, Alex and Max, calling the “katas” and his parents, Julie and Stéphane, handling the management and accounting for the centre.

The family’s original connection to karaté was through Nicholas’ grandfather, Roger, who studied with Sensei Denis Beaudoin, who remains the family’s “sensei”. Sensei Beaudoin launched the dojo in Perkins 6 years ago with Nicholas in the role of main instructor. When the opportunity arose for the Rivest family to take over the facility, they went for it!

Rivest Karaté offers karaté training from beginner (white belt) all the way to master (black belt). They have also expanded their services to offer a more traditional “gym” after acquiring fitness equipment and dedicating space for exercising. It all meshes perfectly with Nicholas’ career as a kinesiologist.

In pre-Covid times the centre had more than 150 members, all working to attain their health and fitness goals across a range of skill-levels: there were black belts, groups of preschoolers, and everyone in between. The pandemic demanded extreme flexibility and brought endless challenges. When the lockdown started, Rivest Karaté migrated to free online sessions. During the summer they shifted to outdoor classes and they are now able to offer indoor classes to limited numbers of participants.

With the constant shifting of health protocols and the need to adjust their logistics, the family realized that Rivest Karaté needed external assistance. Nicholas turned to SADC, an organization he was already familiar with, having previously secured a loan earmarked for young entrepreneurs.

“The SADC has always been there for us and even called first to look at setting up a program to help the centre through the Covid restrictions”.

The SADC’s additional assistance has been essential to keeping the dojo up and running. Though they’re not out of the woods yet, Nicholas and his entire family is focused on attracting new membership and continuing to provide their present members with an excellent program to enhance their lives.

Rivest Karate et Fitness | Rivest Karate et Fitness