AMHERST – Chris Manuge is not someone who seeks the spotlight.
The longtime curler and administrator received some deserved recognition recently when she was sworn into the Nova Scotia Curling Association’s Hall of Fame under the executive honour roll category for her work in various capacities for the association that governs the sport in the province.
“You never go into these things seeking recognition or looking to get honoured, but it certainly is nice to be recognized, considering the number hours I’ve put into it,” Manuge said Wednesday.
Manuge started curling half a century ago at the age of 14 and immediately fell in love with the sport. Along with playing, Manuge, who worked as a psychologist with the Correctional Service of Canada, put her administrative skills to work on the management side of the sport, first in Amherst with the Business Ladies Curling and the Amherst Curling Club and later with the Nova Scotia Ladies Curling Association and finally the provincial association that was created when the men’s, women’s and mixed groups all merged into one umbrella organization.
“I worked as a psychologist with corrections and I was sort of looking for a positive outlet where I could contribute some of my skills,” she said. “It was something to counterbalance my work life. It was a way to do something positive for my community.”
Daemen said her administrative skills have helped grow curling during her tenure with the Amherst club and the provincial association.
“She has been a very important part of our organization for many years and has gone above and beyond in her support of the Nova Scotia Curling Association and the sport of curling in Nova Scotia,” president Harry Daemen said.
Manuge started her service to the NSCA in 2011 as the Fundy regional director and then became the provincial vice-president under Tom Birchill’s presidency. She became president of the NSCA in May 2014 and served two years in the top office while also serving as Curling Canada’s Members Association chairperson and was an active volunteer on its sub-committees.
“One aspect of her leadership that shone through was her continuous pressing to recognize the athletes and volunteers of this sport in forwarding award nominations for provincial and national award consideration,” Daemen said. “She has done a lot for the sport of curling.”
She later served as NSCA past-president and this season was quick to volunteer her skills as a mentor, or elder, to the board of directors while also providing liaison duties at last year’s Under-21 curling event and this year’s senior men’s and women’s curling championships at the Amherst Club.
“It would be easy, and understandable, if she’d said she’d done part and decided only to curl, but she has continued to step up to help the association,” Daemen said. “She continues to volunteer in the sport and we’re so appreciative.”
The curling association also recognized Amherst’s Robin Keith as its volunteer of the year. Manuge said Keith played a major role in turning around the financial situation at the Amherst club.
Keith couldn’t attend the ceremony, but was presented his award Manuge during a curling symposium at Mount Allison last weekend.
“He does an incredible amount of work for the club,” Manuge said of Keith. “I’m not sure there wouldn’t have been a padlock put on the door if Robin hadn’t did what he did to turn the club’s finances around. He was instrumental in keeping the doors open.”
Manuge said Keith applied for many government grants that helped fund numerous improvements at the club.