Seniors get introduction to golf



By Ron Giofu


Thanks to a golf professional, several people within the community got a chance to try the game for the first time.

Matt Bodde met with a group of golfing beginners in the Libro Centre’s indoor sports field. It was mainly seniors who turned out the first time but he is offering paid courses in January and April.

“This was a free clinic for a new program we’re bringing to the Libro Centre,” explained Bodde. “We’re doing it in here with softer balls.”

Local golf pro Matt Bodde demonstrates a swing during a recent workshop at the Libro Centre. Courses will be offered in January and April.

Bodde, who is the golf pro at Seven Lakes Golf Course in LaSalle, said he approached Libro Centre staff about starting a new golf program with the aim, in part, to get seniors interested in golfing. However, the course is designed for beginners and for those who need to “brush up on their golfing skills.”

Aspects of the course will include fitness, learning the basics of golf from the grip to the swing and video analysis as well.

“I worked in the United States for 30 years as a club pro,” added Bodde.

Bodde believes there will be a good turnout for the classes, which will be capped at ten people per class. People are asked to bring their own clubs, with required clubs for the first class being a wood, a seven-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter.

Winter classes are Jan. 17, 19, 24 and 26 from 10-11 a.m. Spring classes are April 11, 13, 18 and 20 from 10-11 a.m. The fees are $70.

People can register at the Libro Centre. Bodde asks that registration be done no later than 48 hours in advance to the session start date.

Multi-million expansion happening at Amherstburg Home Health



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Home Health is proceeding with a multi-million dollar expansion with the aim of having a “one-stop shop” for medical needs on the site.

Luigi DiPierdomenico, president and CEO of Lumed Management Inc., said the aim is to bring in a multi-disciplinary practice to the site and create a place where health care needs can be met seven days per week.

This is a rendering of the expansion that is currently under construction at Amherstburg Home Health. The business is undergoing the first of a three-phase expansion at the Sandwich St. S. property. The aim is to have all three phases done in 2019.

“We want to be as accessible to the community as we can be,” he said.

The expansion to the site is the first of three phases, DiPierdomenico explained, with the first phase having the ability to house up to eight physicians that they want to attract to Amherstburg.

DiPierdomenico said they believe Amherstburg is still “an underserviced area” and they want to make sure people can stay closer to home to find medical care. Among the other plans for the first phase of the expansion are a blood lab, occultation clinic, IV therapy, a diagnostics unit and X-ray services.

“Down the road, we’d like to add mammography, bone marrow density and ultrasound services,” he said.

This is a rendering of the expansion that is currently under construction at Amherstburg Home Health. The business is undergoing the first of a three-phase expansion at the Sandwich St. S. property. The aim is to have all three phases done in 2019.

The first phase, being added to the rear of the building at 433 Sandwich St. S., will be 7,100 square feet. The second phase is planned to be 2,500 square feet and, if everything goes according to plan, be attached to the front of the building. The third phase would be a separate building on the south side of the property, with that proposed building being 3,500 square feet.

The plan is to have everything completed within roughly two years.

“We want this site to be a health care site with as many health care services and businesses as possible,” said DiPierdomenico.

DiPierdomenico said this project has been in the works “for at least five years” and that they plan on using the latest technology possible. The vision is to also develop apps for each business located within the complex and be as modernized and advanced as they can be with electronic medical recording, e-prescriptions and online check-in systems among the services proposed.

In all, DiPierdomenico envisions up to 16-20 full-time staff within the new expanded portion to start.

“We’re just so excited,” he said. “We’ve been working so hard on this. We’re excited to offer these services to the town.”

Sold out hockey school focuses strictly on girls



By Ron Giofu


An all-girls hockey camp started last Wednesday night with the ice at the Libro Centre filled with players ages 6-15.

The camp is in its second year and is being directed by Bill Atkinson and Dan Pettypiece. Atkinson said it allows players to “go back to basics” and learn the finer points of the game. The clinic started last year with 36 kids and is sold out this year with over 60 players enrolled.

“It’s the kinds of things coaches can’t do in the middle of the season because they don’t have enough ice time,” said Atkinson.

There are not a lot of all-girls camps, Atkinson believes, and they try to make the clinic at the Libro Centre affordable for everyone. He said a lot of girls don’t feel comfortable on the ice with boys and they are more enthusiastic when they get to compete against other girls.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Atkinson said the all-girls approach works for his three daughters and believes it works better for other girls, as they are not as intimidated on the ice and more motivated.

“I wouldn’t be able to get any of them to go to a mostly boys camp,” said Atkinson.

While basic skating and puck handing skills are taught, Atkinson added they aren’t necessarily trying to create superstars.

“We’re going to teach you how to play hockey so you can enjoy the game,” he said.

Atkinson said there are other coaches as well, including a goalie coach and three girls getting an initial exposure to coaching. He said it is great not only helping players develop, but allowing others to give back through coaching.

The bulk of the players are from Amherstburg, he added, though there are players from LaSalle and Harrow in the camp as well as some others from around the area.

The school has two sessions each Wednesday night through Aug. 23 and also runs Aug. 29.

Weekly girls hockey clinic to run Wednesdays starting July 26


By Ron Giofu

A girls hockey summer training program is returning to the Libro Centre.

Bill Atkinson is the director of the female power skating and hockey clinic and Dan Pettypiece is the co-director. It starts July 26 and runs for six weeks for ages 6-15.

“We actually started the program last summer recognizing there was a need for strictly girls hockey programs in the area,” said Pettypiece. “We had one group last year ranging in age 5 to 15 which presented some challenges with the different skill levels all being on the ice at once.”

Pettypiece noted the program was sold out and it had a waiting list.

“This year we decided to offer two age groups (6-10 and 11-15). Bill worked approximately15 years for me back in the old Tri-Com Hockey School days and after several years away from the business he decided to jump back in. One of the motivating factors for him was the fact that he now has three girls playing hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience. He is very passionate about teaching the skills especially skating.”

Pettypiece said they have always been on the same page in that regards. He stated Atkinson has been coaching and teaching the game for over 20 years. As for Pettypiece, he said he has never ever been able to leave the game that has meant so much to him.

“I have been coaching and running hockey programs for 40 years now and I still have the same passion as when I started,” said Pettypiece.

The weekly sessions will include a focus on power skating but they will also work on hockey skills each 90-minute session.

Some of the other instructors will be Taylor Conte from the University of Windsor Lancers, Carson Clarke Bartolo and Allison Langille from the Windsor Wildcat midget travel team. It will also feature goalie instructor Jason Dion. The fee is $140.

“One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” said Pettypiece. “Too many programs seem to just run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting which prohibits skill development. We try to slow them down and break the skills down into smaller parts. Otherwise you are not doing your job which is to improve their skill level.”

There are 40 girls registered and they have up to 20 spots available. Contact Bill Atkinson at to register.

“We are looking forward to getting back on the ice and working with the girls,” said Pettypiece.

The clinics run each Wednesday from 6-7:20 p.m. and 7:30-8:50 p.m.