Recreation opportunity

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Sports pad laid for Maccan youth

MACCAN - Hockey, basketball, tennis… the possibilities are many for local youth now, thanks to a successful community effort here.

Recreation opportunity

MACCAN - Hockey, basketball, tennis… the possibilities are many for local youth now, thanks to a successful community effort here.

A large, tennis court-sized block of asphalt has been laid near the Maccan ball field, and sports equipment is being purchased to provide more recreational opportunities for the area's youngsters, according to Ernie Leblanc, one of the volunteers.

The whole purpose was to give the kids in the community a play area, so they don't have to play hockey on the road or other dangerous areas, he explained.

"A couple of kids got hit by cars here 10 to 15 ago, so a group of us got together," he said. "We raised a bunch of money for this, and finally got the project done."

Over the years the community group has raised about $21,000 through fundraisers, donations and grants from sources such as the Municipality of Cumberland County and the Cumberland Health Authority.

Success has come thanks to the generous efforts of people like county councillor John Kellegrew, Robbie White of River Hebert, Dwight Jones and the Town of Amherst's recreation department, Jim Campbell of Sport Nova Scotia and many community residents who never gave up on it, according to LeBlanc.

So far portable basketball nets and hockey nets have been acquired, and the plan is to buy more equipment, picnic tables, etc. as funds allow.

"This is just the start," he said. "We used to have big Canada Day celebrations down here and were always stuck for things to do. This here opens it up to a wide variety of things, like three-point contests, washer toss, etc."

It also allows people participating in slo-pitch tournaments at the neighbouring field to bring their children along, as they will now have an activity area to use.

Local youngsters have already been using the pad, and were playing hockey on it yesterday.

"I think it's great," said Zach St. Peter. "It's better than playing in the road."



awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Health Authority

Geographic location: Cumberland County, River Hebert, Amherst

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