Listen Up Councils of Small Town North America!! Catering To Your Seniors is Catering to Your Business Community!!

Orillia Packet

Orillia ON is a wonderful small town about 22 km from Midland, home of TWO ISA TOURNAMENTS!!!  Orillia’s claim to fame is: It is home to Stephen Leacock: Stephen P. H Butler Leacock,  (30 December 1869 – 28 March 1944) was a Canadian teacher, , writer, and humourist. Between the years 1910 and 1925, he was the most widely read English-speaking author in the world. [1] He is known for his light humour along with criticisms of people’s follies   

gary isaI always read with great interest the news articles published about Orillia’s new rec centre in the Packet & Times and it makes me wonder where the seniors of Orillia fit into the equation of this new facility. After all, they have been the taxpayers whose hard-earned money is being spent on this new facility.  (Gary Pipher speaking; on your left)

I have never seen anything in the new facility that directly benefits the seniors of Orillia, other than, possibly, the swimming pools.

Do the Orillia council members realize how many seniors from Orillia travel to Coldwater once a week during the winter and twice a week during the summer to play shuffleboard? At least 60% of the players come out of the City of Orillia. There has been no mention of shuffleboard in the new facility as the council probably thinks it’s a game only played in church basements or on the deck of a cruise ship.

I read were the council was planning to contact the Midland mayor regarding the seniors games as a revenue generator, but again, shuffleboard was never recognized or mentioned in their discussions.

What council may not know is that the international shuffleboard championship was held in Midland in 2014 and in 2007 (all hosted and organized by the Coldwater Shuffleboard Club). This was a week-long event that saw 11 countries from around the world each sending teams of six men and six women to compete. The revenue that Midland garnered from this event was overwhelming and most certainly recognized by the mayor. There was hotel accommodation for over 150 individuals for the entire week, as well as arena rental for the week-long event, bus transportation to and from the hotels and Toronto airport. and of course the catering of the meals, banquets, etc. The spin-off from these international visitors was welcomed by Midland and the cost of running and organizing the event was all arranged by volunteers and spearheaded by the Coldwater club. Coldwater has the desire but does not have the facility to host these types of events.

There have been other significant shuffleboard tournaments that have been held in Coldwater and the participants to all the events have stayed in either Midland or Orillia. This is the best-kept secret of the year.

2015 Coldwater ClubFor the past eight years, the Coldwater Shuffleboard Club has hosted one of the Ontario Shuffleboard Championship events or the Canadian National Shuffleboard Championships and this is always a three- or four-day event. The Coldwater club has twice hosted the interprovincial shuffleboard tournament, which brings players from across Canada to compete.

This again is a week-long event with another 150-plus players and their guests. All players must eat, all players must have accommodation and all players like to shop.

Think about it, Orillia council members. Seniors are frugal, but when it comes to a sport they can still partake in and compete in, the money becomes secondary.

Severn Township has been very supportive of the needs of the Coldwater Shuffleboard Club, but I do see Orillia missing out on the great opportunity to include shuffleboard facilities in their new recreation centre.

Gary Pipher, Past president and founder of Coldwater Shuffleboard Club.   2016 02 13.  Click on pix to expand.

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2 Responses to Listen Up Councils of Small Town North America!! Catering To Your Seniors is Catering to Your Business Community!!

  1. Max Tate says:

    Well said.


  2. Paul Alyward says:

    Glad to see this well written and timely article.
    I live in Orillia and joined the Coldwater Shuffleboard Club 2 years ago and I do indeed drive to Coldwater to play, as many others do.
    Shuffleboard has been known typically as a seniors game but more and more younger people are finding it to be a competitive, fun and rewarding game, especially on the international stage.
    I do think that Orillia City council is missing an opportunity to provide a great social activity for everyone in the community including the seniors of Orillia who may find it harder and harder with age to travel to Coldwater.
    I commend the Coldwater Club for providing the courts and setting aside a day of shuffleboard for special needs kids….some of whom I’m sure also come from Orillia.
    Everyone reading this article should forward it to Orillia City Council.
    One last note. Orillia is also the birth place of Gordon Lightfoot.


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