McDOUGALL TWP. – Seniors from all across Ontario flocked to the McDougall Recreation Centre this week.
The Nobel Shuffleboard Club hosted the provincial shuffleboard tournament for the third consecutive year from July 7 to July 9. The tournament boasted a total of 23 teams (46 players) with players coming from Coldwater, Woodstock, Fergus, Georgetown, Sudbury, Oshawa, Niagara, North Bay, and Manitoulin Island. Many of the teams consisted of spouses and siblings.
In attendance at the tournament were husband and wife duo, Rendall and Myrna Bilton, from Fergus, Ontario. Rendall is the current president of the Ontario Shuffleboard Association while his wife, Myrna, is the former president of the Canadian National Shuffleboard Association (CNSA) and the current first-vice president of the International Shuffleboard Association. The Biltons had just returned from a tournament in England and have traveled the world playing shuffleboard. Myrna said that the pair has visited Australia, Germany, the United States, Norway, Russia, and have traveled Canada coast-to-coast – and all in the name of shuffleboard. In the winter months the pair live in Florida and play shuffleboard there.
Myrna was the captain of Team Canada Women in Germany in 2010 along with the captain of Canada East Women in 2012 in Seattle, Washington – winning gold in both tournaments.
“It is such wonderful fellowship,” said Myrna of playing shuffleboard. “I’ve made so many wonderful friends. It’s not about winning – at least for me it’s not. I have friends from all over the world. To me it’s all about the camaraderie and the fellowship.”
Rendall is also no stranger to the captain title. He served as the captain of Team Canada Men in 2010 in Germany and has played in four different international Shuffleboard tournaments, coming away with gold in 2008 in Australia and again in 2012 in Seattle, Washington.
Also under his belt of shuffleboard accomplishments is “This is no money-making sport,” said Rendall. “This is a sport that you do for fun.”
President of the Nobel Shuffleboard Club and the gentleman responsible for organizing the event, Dick Lubbelinkhof, agreed with Rendall saying that shuffleboard is a sport where “you meet a lot of nice people.” Lubbelinkhof confirmed that the Nobel Club would again be hosting the provincial tournament next year with plans already underway.
Local husband and wife duo, Peter and Erika Berg, were also playing in the provincial tournament. The pair got their first taste of shuffleboard while on their honeymoon in St. Petersburg in 1961 and their love for the sport – and for one another – has blossomed every since. Peter and Erika have been married for 54 years.
The husband and wife duo, who reside on Loon Lake for six months of the year, and winter in Florida, are considered professionals in the shuffleboard sport with Peter advancing the professional level in 2005 and Erika following in her husband’s footsteps the following year.
The pair has played in five International shuffleboard tournaments, in which they have come away with the gold medal a number of times, and played in a European Open in Sochi, Russia. “It is really all about the people – they’re great,” said Erika. Peter described the shuffleboard as “the game of mistakes – whoever makes the least, wins.” The pair weren’t making many mistakes Wednesday afternoon, having put out at least two teams with their game play. Last year, Peter was inducted into the Ontario Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. In 2011, the Bergs, Peter and Erika, along with Dick and Sonia Lubbelinkhof, started the Shuffleboard Club in Nobel.
The Nobel Shuffleboard Club, after playing in various local venues such as McDougall Recreation Centre, the YMCA, and the Parry Sound Mall, has finally found a home at the Foley Agricultural Hall. The “young chicks” of the club are in the their mid seventies, but there are players who are in their nineties – one of whom walks with a cane and plays with it too.
The club is always accepting new members. If you would like more information or would like to inquire about joining, you can contact Joan Emery at: joanemery@firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of the players present at the provincial tournament in Nobel will be traveling to Goderich, Ontario on July 20 to July 24 for the Inter-Provincial (IP) Shuffleboard Tournament.
Sent along by Bob Weber; posted by Stan McCormack. 2015 07 11