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Seniors centre launching new shuffleboard league for Mapleton

by Patrick Raftis

MAPLETON - The Seniors’ Centre for Excellence (SCFE) will soon be launching a new shuffleboard league.

The Township of  Mapleton announced on Jan. 30 that the project is being made possible through a $24,995 grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) - a federal program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors wanting to make a difference in their communities.

The idea for the new league came from Gord Oosterveld, one of Mapleton’s senior residents, who used to organize a wintertime shuffleboard league in Florida, the township explains in a press release.

“My wife, Ann, and I used to travel to Florida to organize a shuffleboard league that had over 80 players,” said Oosterveld.

“But, due to health reasons, we’re not able to travel as much as we used to. Projects like these will help to encourage seniors from Mapleton, and across Wellington County, to stay active and share their knowledge, skills and experience with others.”

The league will be managed by the SCFE, a new part-time coordinator, and volunteer seniors from across Wellington County. Volunteers will not only be involved in the sport of shuffleboard but also designing, marketing, launching and managing the project itself.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Helen Edwards, seniors’ health services coordinator for the SCFE.

“One of the most significant effects of the cold winter months on aging adults is the increased risk for social isolation. By launching a wintertime, indoor shuffleboard league, we will ensure that our seniors have more opportunity to be both physically and socially active in the Township of Mapleton.”

The township will work with the SCFE to host a series of information, training and registration events. As a result, seniors and youth across Wellington County will be introduced to the sport of shuffleboard. The program is scheduled to begin in February and a celebratory banquet will be held in June.

At the Jan. 23 council meeting, Edwards explained grant funds will be used to purchase portable equipment which includes; four portable courts, that will allow up to 16 people to play at one time. Funds will also be used to hire a part time coordinator, cover the costs of facility rentals and the year-end banquet.

She also noted there will be an inter-generational component to the project, as it was supported by the Mapleton Youth Action Council.

“The grant will also allow seniors to play without fees, for the first year, removing economic barriers,” Edwards explained in her report. The league is scheduled run until the end of May, utilizing both the PMD arena and the Maryborough Community Centre.

“On behalf of council and staff, I would like to thank the New Horizons for Seniors Project for this grant opportunity,” said Mapleton Mayor Neil Driscoll.

“Seniors are valuable assets to our community. By empowering and encouraging them to share their knowledge, skills and experience, we will continue to build a stronger community.”

Seniors wishing to assist with the league are encouraged to contact Edwards at the SCFE, 519-686-1000 or hedwards@mapleton.ca.

 

February 9, 2018

 
 

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