New club attracted 50 potential members

One of this town’s oldest clubs was the site on Aug. 6 of the birth of a new sport.

About 50 people attended to learn more about the Centre Wellington Shuffleboard Club that night.

Myrna Bilton, of Belwood, said in an interview that the group owes a lot to the Fergus Curling Club, which is allowing her shuffleboard group the use of the floor.

The new club has six mats on the floor for games, and she said the club will be open for team and individual competition.

Bilton and her husband, Rendall, became involved in the sport on their annual trips to Florida, and now both have played in international competitions. Myrna Bilton was on the Canadian women’s team this year that finished second to Japan at a world even in Florida.

She plans to play in first ever interprovincial games later this month, and in October she will again travel to Florida for the world singles cham­pi­onships.

“You can play at different levels,” she said, noting that the new club will be playing Tuesday and Thursdays for six week.

That’s when the ice goes into the curling club for that sport’s season, but the shufflers will resume their play next May for a full season.

Bilton said Lenore Holder has been a driving force in helping to form the club.

Holder said the club hopes for “a lot of shufflers” and noted that a number of groups and service clubs have helped get the Centre Wellington club started.

The mats, for example, can cost from $1,500 to $2,000, and the ones they are currently using take up about half the curling club space. They are also on loan.

Holder said she hopes the club can double number of mats by next year – and own its own.

Bilton said there are a number of fundraisers being considered.

Meanwhile, local service clubs have made donations, and Pine Meadows residents built the easels that hold the scoreboards for each game and the Napanee club provided the scoreboards.

The club owns its own discs and sticks.

“It’s great fellowship,” Bilton said. From her experience, even though competition is strong at the international level, shufflers all tend to become friends.

Anyone who missed the opening meeting can still apply. For details, call Holder at 519-787-2312, or Bilton at 519-787-0131.