Libro Centre

St. Clair College soccer being played this season at the Libro Centre

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

With a new sports complex being built for St. Clair College athletics, its soccer program has once again found a temporary home.

And, once again, as it did a few years ago, the Saints will be calling that new, temporary home Amherstburg.

All men’s and women’s soccer games will be played this season at the Libro Centre. The teams play doubleheaders every game day with women’s games starting first, followed by the men’s games two hours later.

The St. Clair Saints women’s and men’s soccer teams will be calling the Libro Centre home this season. (Special to the RTT)

Jay Shewfelt, athletic coordinator at St. Clair College, said a 1,500-seat soccer stadium is part of the plans for the new sports complex with construction on that to start soon.

“We planned to play off-campus all along,” said Shewfelt.

Shewfelt noted that the Saints played here several years ago when their field at the college was in rough shape while the OCAA women’s provincial championship was in Amherstburg in 2016. While they considered other facilities to hold their home games in 2018, Shewfelt said it was an easy choice to come back to the Libro Centre.

“It’s a beautiful facility. We love it,” he said.  “The staff and the town treat us great. When it came down to it, it’s an easy decision for us to make.”

The first regular season home games are Tuesday evening against Fanshawe (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.), with the remainder of the home schedule sees Niagara come to the Libro Centre Saturday with the women’s game at 2 p.m. and the men’s game at 4 p.m.

Redeemer comes to town Sept. 29 with the women’s game at 2 p.m. and the men’s game at 4 p.m. Lambton plays St. Clair Oct. 4 with the women starting at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m.

St. Clair hosts Mohawk at the Libro Centre Oct. 12 with the women at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m.

A full schedule is at www.saintsathletics.ca.

 

Dillon Hayes of Amherstburg plays on the St. Clair Saints men’s soccer team.

Dillon Hayes of Amherstburg plays on the men’s team.

Shewfelt said there is the possibility of a sixth home game for the soccer teams depending on where they finish and what the playoff schedule looks like. He added that St. Clair College has reached out to the Amherstburg Soccer Club to invite them to the games, with the general public also welcome to attend.

“All of our games are free admission,” said Shewfelt.

Women’s national sledge hockey selection camp comes to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Women hoping to make the national sledge hockey team converged on Amherstburg over the Labour Day weekend to try and keep their dreams alive.

The Canadian women’s national sledge hockey team was at the Libro Centre last Friday through Sunday for their selection camp for the 2018-19 season. Janice Coulter, Women’s Sledge Hockey of Canada president, said 25 players were vying for 15 spots on the national team.

“We have players here from across the country,” said Coulter.

The national women’s sledge hockey program was at the Libro Centre over the weekend for their selection camp. Players from across Canada were in town trying to make the 2018-19 sledge hockey team. The camp included a pair of intrasquad games, including one Saturday afternoon (pictured).

Players from the Windsor-Essex County region, some of whom have played nationally before, were on hand over the weekend. They include Jessica Matassa, Dani McPhee and Ashley Goure. Assistant coach Derek Whitson hails from Chatham, added Coulter, and the Libro Centre was his “home arena” as he played for the men’s national team.

“We’ve heard great things about the venue,” said Coulter, adding the Libro Centre is “fully and completely accessible, sledge friendly and barrier-free.”

“The staff here are excellent as well and have worked with us to host a great event.”

The selection camp featured skills assessment sessions and intra-squad exhibition games Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, It may not be the last time the women’s national program comes to Amherstburg.

“We’d really like to come back,” said Coulter, “and do as much as we can in the area.”

Coulter said the Libro Centre would be a good venue for a Canada-U.S. women’s sledge hockey series. She also floated the idea of a national mentoring program in town, where national team players would lead other younger players.

“Our big thing is we’re always trying to increase awareness and promotion,” she said.

For more information on the national women’s sledge hockey program, visit www.canadianwomensledgehockey.com, www.facebook.com/CSWHT or www.twitter.com/CSHWT.

Public engagement sessions on possible town re-branding Wednesday afternoon and evening

The public is reminded that the town is holding two information sessions with regards to its proposed new branding strategy Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The town has partnered with marketing agency Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. to develop the branding strategy, as well as “an innovative new tourism website” to attract visitors, guests and investors.

Cinnamon Toast has aimed to gather information about what makes Amherstburg unique to other municipalities and what elements stakeholders would like to see reflected in the town’s future brand and logo.

Information is also being sought on how often the town’s website is accessed, and what visitors to the site find most valuable, including ease of use, information about events, attractions including restaurant and accommodation recommendations.

“Amherstburg continues to be progressive in meeting the growing interests of new markets. We encourage everyone to participate in filling out the short survey to help us in the creation of an exciting new logo and tourism website,” manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota stated in a press release published online last month.

There will be two public consultations sessions Aug. 29 and those sessions will be led by Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. and attended by town representatives. The first session will be at 3 p.m. with an evening session planned for 6 p.m. Both will be held at the Libro Centre.

The town agreed in May to spend up to $75,000 plus HST on a branding strategy, which will also include a communications strategy and a “brand identity manual.”

The Town of Amherstburg is encouraging the public to find the survey on its “Talk the Burg” online feedback website and at its main website of www.amherstburg.ca.

Amherstburg Soccer Club presents “Day of Champions”

 

By Jonathan Martin

 

The Larry Bauer Park soccer fields have drawn local champions in to play.

Saturday saw LaSalle, South Windsor and Amherstburg’s interlocked U18 divisions compete in the first round, quarter-finals and semi-finals of 2018’s Day of Champions.  LaSalle hosted the championship game Sunday.

At press time, the official final results have not been released.

Players show what they’re made of at 2018’s Day of Champions, held at the Libro Centre’s soccer fields in Amherstburg last Saturday. The championship finals were held in LaSalle Sunday.

The semi-finals went into overtime, with Amherstburg getting knocked out by a penalty kick.  LaSalle suffered the same fate.  South Windsor came out ahead.

This was South Windsor’s first year participating in the interlock.  According to Amherstburg Soccer Club (ASC) president Terry Sawchuk, the organization’s growth can be attributed to the sport’s capacity for teambuilding, healthy living and, most importantly, its affordability.

“Every year we have more players join,” he said.  “This year, membership is up by about 75.  We also started a new girls-only league this year.”

The tournament also enjoyed a healthy turnout.  Soccer-lovers lined the fields, hiding from the heat in the shade of sapling trees while the players laughed and ran and kicked and leaped.

“The Town of Amherstburg, as always, has been fantastic,” Sawchuk said.  “They keep the fields well-maintained and I’ve received compliments on the quality of the facilities.”

Woofa-Roo director pleased with attendance, despite rain

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even though this year’s Woofa-Roo Pet Festival was held under cool, wet conditions, the festival’s director was still happy with how things went.

Lorene Clayton pointed out that while some of the outdoor events were impacted both Saturday and Sunday at the Libro Centre, it didn’t have that much of an impact overall. Indoor events went off as planned and Clayton said she was happy with the weekend overall.

“It’s a little bit slower but I am so impressed with the fact that we had terrible weather and so many people still came out,” she said. “It pretty much proves we have a loyal following who like to come out to see what we do.”

Events included the Dock Dogs diving competition, presentations from A-Team Robotics and their “Fetch-a-Roo” robot, the Border City Barkers dog agility show, presentations from various dog and pet groups, raffles, wiener dog races, vendors and more.

Corinne Googe and her dog Helena compete in the dog diving competition. They came in for the second straight year from Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

“People that are here had a good time,” said Clayton. “I’m sure we did well in spite of the weather.”

Clayton admitted to not being nervous when looking at the weather forecasts in advance.

“It is what it is,” she said of the weather. “I’ll take care of the things I can control but that’s not one of them.”

Julie and David Unholzer from Danes in Distress stand at their booth (right). Canine units from Windsor, Chatham-Kent and OPP perform demonstrations.

People will still come out rain or shine, Clayton added, and that they were anticipating warmer weather given the festival moved from August to July this year. Her highlight, she stated, was the same as it is every year.

“It’s the energy people bring to the festival,” said Clayton.

The volunteers were outstanding, she added, as they performed their duties regardless of weather without complaint.

“They all do it with a smile,” she said. “They’ve been just incredible. It’s impressive to see how well the volunteers are working.”

Corinne Googe and her dog Helena were competitors in the dog diving competition. They came in for the second straight year from Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

“I love it,” said Googe. “It’s one of my favourite events of the year. I just love the energy.”

Mackenzie Parks fires tennis balls out of the “Fetch-A-Roo” robot built by A-Team Robotics.

Googe added the competitors form their own little community but she said the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival in Amherstburg is special as she likes seeing the vendors, the dogs and the people.

Julie and David Unholzer of Danes in Distress brought their dog Mojo to the festival and said they help find homes for larger dogs like Great Danes. Julie said that Great Danes don’t do well in shelters and that her group helps shelters around the province find homes for the breed. She said that exposure at Woofa-Roo has helped them find homes for dogs.

Laura Greenwood from Wheatley said she comes annually to Amherstburg for the festival.

“I love it,” said Greenwood. “I come back every year, even if it’s raining. If you are a pet person, you obviously come back.”

Greenwood said she particularly likes the lure course, as she has “high drive” dogs and that tends to tire them out.

A-Team Robotics, the local robotics team featuring a lot of General Amherst High School students, were on hand with their “Fetch-a-Roo” robot, a robot which shot tennis balls in the air for dogs to chase. Mackenzie Parks, one of the robotics team members, said it was “a good challenge” for their off-season as they learned a different type of mechanism and how to design a robot to shoot balls.

“If we’re building robots to shoot balls, why not have a robot that shoots balls for dogs?” he said.

Police canine units from Windsor, OPP and Chatham-Kent were performing demonstrations at the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival July 22.

His father Allan, one of the A-Team’s mentors and coaches, said they also want to get the team more exposure. They were at Canada Day as well and plan to be at the Aug. 3-5 Amherstburg Uncommon Festival in the downtown core.

“We felt it was good chance to get in the community and give back,” said Allan.

Allan added that off-season challenges gives other team members a chance to “spread their wings” and show what they could do.

Joanna Pitcher and son Greyson came in from LaSalle for the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival. Joanna said they heard about it from other people while her son was playing soccer and decided to come out.

“It’s lovely,” she said. “It’s really fun.”