When people think of logger sports, it is hard not to think of a burly logger swinging a giant axe or powering a huge cross cut saw as they wave to the crowd while brushing saw dust out of their beard. And while we get our fair share of that on the North Island, our local logger sports events are so much more!
We are proud to see a great blend of local and visiting athletes ranging in age from students to veteran loggers. Our ladies events are extremely well attended and some years we have more ladies competing than men! And as the tradition of logger sports gets passed along from generation to generation, we are seeing more and more families participating in our local events.
For the Briscoe family in Port McNeill, logger sports is definitely a family affair. Roger Briscoe, an operations manager with Western Forest Products, has been competing in logger sports over the last several years with his two daughters – Dawn and Allison, aged 19 and 17 respectively. Both daughters are already considered veterans on the logger sports circuit, with Allison previously holding the National Championship title for the Canadian Ladies Single Buck, which she earned at the early age of just 15! We have such tremendous young local athletes, the future of logger sports on the North Island is very bright.
It is hard not to see the pride in Roger’s eyes when he talks about his family and logger sports. Roger and his wife Michelle decided to settle and raise a family on the North Island in order to embrace the healthy lifestyle of rural living and outdoor opportunities. Roger explained that “we didn’t push the girls to compete in logger sports, they were just interested from the start”, so they set up some chopping blocks and an axe throwing target in their yard to so the family could practice together. This hard work and combined love for the sport “has brought our family closer together”, Roger explained. Seeing their children be successful, gain confidence and learn the discipline it takes to compete at a national level in a sport has been all the reward that Roger and Michelle could ask for. Logger sports showcases the proud traditions of forestry in our province. By maintaining the interest in these shows, we are preserving a piece of our heritage and honouring those hardworking men and women who built our industry and many of our local communities. North Islanders love these events! It is easy to feel the excitement of the crowd and hear the roar of the hundreds of cheers as competitors saw through a white pine log or jump up on a springboard to surge through a cut while standing 8 feet above the ground!
The 9th Annual Port McNeill Logger Sports Association Show will be taking place at the Port McNeill waterfront on June 16th! This local event has grown over the years in both size and reputation and for 2018 the show will be hosting the Canadian Championship in Open Axe Throw, Unlimited Hot Saw, Grand Prairie Accuracy Cut, and Ladies Axe Throw. These will be an exciting events with contenders from across the country heading to Port McNeill and try to win the title of Canadian Champion! Locals who are interested in participating are invited to register for our Novice events and compete in one of three Novice events: Axe Throw, Springboard, and Double Bucking! Experienced competitors will be available to instruct novice participants in these events at 7:00 p.m. on the evenings of June 12th and 14th at the competition grounds in Port McNeill. Come on out and give it a try.
For more information about the 2018 Port McNeill Logger Sports event, look for information at www.vancouverislandnorth.ca or look for our Facebook page!