Di Am Ruth Stewart
I started playing shuffleboard when my husband and I made a stop with our 5th wheel at a campground in Zephyrhills. Vivian Frizzle stopped to ask if we would be interested in playing shuffleboard, to which we knew nothing about, so we went over to the courts to watch and were soon involved in the park for the rest of the winter. When we returned home we asked around if anyone knew if there were any clubs in Ontario and found a couple close by in Thedford and Port Franks and we joined. The next year when we returned, we were asked to play in different parks and we enjoyed coming to Florida so much that we decided to buy a mobile home in Winter Haven. The park we bought in, only shuffled once a week and we looked around and joined the club in downtown Winter Haven.
I had to take time off in 2008 as I had a hip replacement but was soon back to shuffleboard as soon as I could and enjoyed playing but did not go in many tournaments. My husband got sick in 2010 and we had to stay home for a couple of years while he went through chemo and radiation and we could not get down to Florida, but, we still shuffled back home a couple of times a week. In Feb 2012 he passed away, and by November I was back to Florida and playing shuffleboard. Since I had a dog, the only tournaments I entered were in Winter Haven and in 2014 I lost him as well, so I was able to start playing in local and surrounding area tournaments. I received a phone call from Jim Marquess looking for a partner and we started entering tournaments, winning some and losing some. We played in the Senior Games in 2016 and were awarded a bronze medal. One of my low spots was missing the National Pin in Avon Park in the last frame. In October of 2016 I was asked to play in the International Shuffleboard Tournament in St Cloud, FL. This was a week-long tournament with 13 different countries and was a great experience. A highlight this winter was winning a Pro-Am tournament in Zephryhills with Eric Brown, a friend from Ontario.
I am originally from Ingersoll, a small town in Ontario where I was born and lived most of my life. When we retired we moved just outside Grand Bend, on Lake Huron and built a new house. I have since moved back to Ingersoll again. I have 3 children, two sons and a daughter, two of them still live in Ingersoll and one in Toronto and I have 3 grandchildren.
I have so many people to thank for their encouragement and time spent in enhancing my technique through their skills and experience in getting me to where I am today. I am sure they know who they are, thank you and I am extremely grateful. I play shuffleboard for the sense of accomplishment as I am sports oriented playing basketball & volleyball in my younger years but also the social aspect of it as I have met some very good friends and most everyone seems friendly and helpful. It also keeps me young and active. I hope that reading this, will encourage amateurs to join and I look forward to next season to working my way towards being a pro.
Last summer we inquired at the Ingersoll arena about putting in shuffleboard courts. As a result, Jim & Marlene Corbeil and I have started a new club in Ingersoll. We put in 8 courts and are hoping to put more in when we return to Ontario and are looking forward to having some mingle/single tournaments this summer. Anyone interested in joining our new club is welcome.