The driving force behind the Sept. 6 loggers sports exhibition put on at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre, Coun. Duck Paterson, hopes this year’s event will be a springboard for a bigger, better competition in 2016.
“The feedback that I got is everybody was really, really happy,” Paterson said.
A crowd of 2,000 showed up for the exhibition, which included events like pole climbing, hand sawing, chain sawing and axe throwing. Paterson said the crowd would have been bigger, but that rain earlier in the day may have discouraged attendance.
It’s been five years since a loggers sporting event has been held in Ladysmith. The Sept. 6 exhibit, which was sponsored by Otter Point Timber, featured four loggers. As well as entertaining the crowd, it raised more than $4,000 for the 2015 Tour de Rock Cops for Cancer fundraiser.
Paterson said there’s an interest from competitors as well as spectators to see the show come back next year. “I know the fallers that competed were really impressed with the town,” he said.
His goal now is to have a full-scale loggers sports competition held in Ladysmith, rather than an exhibition. “That’s the goal,” Paterson said.
A day long event with up to 20 competitors is what he envisions. “It’s just taking what we did for the two-and-a-half hours and blowing it up into a full day,” he said.
To do that will require more sponsorships for prize money and other expenses. Paterson said the idea is to pay for the event through sponsorships so that the admissions revenues can continue to go for the Tour de Rock.
“I’m hoping that we can continue it as a fund-raiser for the Tour de Rock,” he said.
A full-scale competition would be less costly if it could be timed to run in conjunction with competitions that already take place on the Island, including Nanaimo.
“We are going to have it,” Paterson said of a 2016 event.