(Sam Sabourin, founder and owner of Between the Bumpers on Fernbank Road in Stittsville couldn’t be prouder to learn that his business had won Canada Post’s ‘Doing Good’ category in their Tales of Triumph contest. Stittsville Central spent some time with Sam to find out more about this extraordinary business. Photos: Lillian Knoops, Stittsville Central; video Canada Post)
Stittsville’s Between the Bumpers was one of the five winners of Canada Post’s 2023 Tales of Triumph contest. Founded by Stittsville’s Sam Sabourin, Between the Bumpers helps people live healthy, happy lives through fitness, physiotherapy, and education. Sam was thrilled for Between the Bumpers to be named the winner of the Doing Good category, which recognizes businesses who know that doing good is good for business.
Tales of Triumph is an annual contest that recognizes the importance of small businesses by sharing their stories and celebrating their success. The contest awards prizes in five categories: Customer Connection, Doing Good, Rising Stars, Canada’s Choice, and Employees’ Choice. Each of the five winning businesses receives a prize package valued at over $100,000 that provides marketing services and opportunities for the entrepreneurs to grow their business. “Small businesses are vital to the economy and to communities from coast to coast to coast,” says Doug Ettinger, Canada Post’s President and CEO. “Canada Post is committed to serving the evolving needs of Canadians and Canadian businesses – and that includes helping the country’s entrepreneurs grow and thrive.”
A Stittsville hidden gem, Between the Bumpers is located at 6511 Fernbank Road. “A lot of people who come in here tell us they never realized we were here,” Sam laughs. Historically, the land belonged to the Stitt family, for whom Stittsville is named, until Sam’s grandparents, Dave and Bev Morley, purchased the farm in the 1960s. Prior to operating out of their current facility, Between the Bumpers began in Sam’s parents’ garage. As the gym’s community grew, it became clear they would need a bigger space. In 2018, the Sabourin family began building the space they use today. The large, open facility allows lots of natural light and creates an inviting atmosphere. Built from the wood of the old barn, the front desk offers a nod to the land’s origins and blends the history of the farm with the beginnings of Between the Bumpers.
The name of the fitness organization emphasizes the need to set aside one’s ego. Sam explains the meaning behind the name, “Bumpers are what we call the pieces, or weights, put on weight bars. Everyone is concerned about the outside world and what other people think of them. They’re focused on what’s happening outside of the bumpers and thinking things like, ‘do I look silly?’ or ‘I’m not lifting enough weight.’ We want to focus on what’s between those bumpers and set aside our egos. Fitness should be about working on yourself to be better, not about aesthetics or vanity.” In keeping with avoiding vanity, Sam strategically avoided hanging mirrors in the gym.
The team at Between the Bumpers remains small, with ten coaches offering various services such as personal training, group classes, semi-private training, youth classes, and corporate wellness training. The gym also hosts post-natal classes with Dr. Marie-Pier Sauriol of Oaktree Health. Additionally, Between the Bumpers has scholarship programs available for those who may not be able to afford fitness classes otherwise.
Sam is eager to show that fitness isn’t just for young people. He explains that they have members of all ages and abilities, and the smaller team allows for a more intimate experience for anyone looking to reach their fitness goals with a coach who will work with them. “Having someone accountable is so important. Our coaches will give members little nudges in the right direction. We build relationships with our athletes and show them that consistency is showing up.” Creating a more customizable experience with 1:1 coaching available sets Between the Bumpers apart from others. “There are already so many open access gyms available, and they do good work, but we’re not trying to be them.”
In addition to their work on site, Sam and Between the Bumpers often work with Indigenous communities to show them how fitness can be a great outlet. Sam has worked with the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, travelling twenty hours to Northern Quebec to provide development opportunities and resources to foster individual growth and well-being.
With a new promo video, billboard, marketing with Canada Post, and meetings with a business mentor, Sam is hopeful that the prize package from Canada Post will help to grow the Between the Bumpers community even more. To learn more about Between the Bumpers, or to book a session, visit their website.
Congratulations Between the Bumpers on your well-deserved win!