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Shuffleboard players head ‘down under’; 11 local club members off to Australia to compete in worldwide match

By Staff | Sep 8, 2008

Several local shuffleboard players are heading to Australia this week, to play in an international tournament in Queensland.

“This year is something unique,” said National Shuffleboard Association president Joseph Messier, a North Fort Myers resident. “In the 10 years that I have been associated with national and international tournaments, this is the most players that have ever come out of an area, of one state and especially of one club.”

All other players, he said, are from nine different states and Canada.

He and wife, Cecile, are headed the group bound for Down Under, 11 of which are players from the Lee County Shuffleboard Club. Five out of the Lee Club and playing for the American team and six are playing for the Canadian Team, as they’re part-time residents here, from Canada.

Joseph will be playing for the USA 12 Man Team, competing against teams from Canada, Australia, Germany and a United Nations Team made up of players from Japan, Brazil and Australia.

Cecile is looking forward to competing as part of the USA 12 Ladies Team. She’s a National Hall of Fame member, who will be joined by local residents Mary Stevens of Pioneer Park and Scottie Keusch of Laurel Estates.

Pauline Young of Bayshore Village will be playing on the Ladies United Nation Team, alongside ladies from Germany and other countries.

Shuffleboard is a growing sport, said Joseph.

Germany joined the international countries in 2005, and it’s growing locally and throughout the U.S.

Bish and Durelle Kowacz of Lake Fairways, Bill and Trudy Rover of Jamaica Bay and Randall and Myrna Bilton of Lazy Days will be playing on the Canadian Team.

This is the couple’s second trip to Australia, they competed in 1999.

It was a lot a fun,” said Cecile.

The couple has played in Brazil, Denmark, Ireland and Japan as well.

Visit breezenewspapers.com for a report with the results when the players return.

This is a great club, with great membership and leadership,” said Joseph of the Lee County Shuffleboard Club.

If you’d like to join, they suggest going to the club, which is behind the North Fort Myers Library in the North Community Park. The club meets at the shuffleboard courts 9 a.m. to noon daily except Sunday.