Woodsmen show their skills

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Students were sawing, chopping, starting fires and climbing poles in Bible Hill on Saturday when the Rick Russell woodsmen competition was held.

Dal AC students take part in competition at the 29th annual Rick Russell Woodsmen competition in Bible Hill. The event included a variety of sawing and chopping divisions, as well as pole climbing and log rolling.

This is the 29th year for the annual event, which draws woodsmen teams from New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and the US to compete against the Dal AC teams. The competition is held at the MacMillan Show Centre, on the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition grounds.

“This is my third year on the team,” said Dal AC animal science student Bridget Wilson, who is originally from Cape Breton. “I was involved in other sports and I heard about the woodsmen team and how much fun it was so I thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t been sorry. It’s a great team sport and requires a lot of dedication.”

She said she believes it helps students with time management, as they practice five days a week, for two hours each day.

“It helps develop commitment, perseverance and dedication,” she added. “You realize you will have both good and bad days to get through.”

She enjoys all of the events in the competition but her favourite is the water boil.

Liddy Cramm enjoys woodsmen competition so much that, even though she graduated two years ago, she returns to play on the alumni team.

“It’s kind of addictive and you don’t really give it up,” she said. “The pole climb is my favourite.

“When we go to other places to compete we go by bus and it’s a huge team bonding experience. I just compete for fun now. The judges are also alumni.”

Cramm, who is from Dartmouth, is currently employed as a supervisor for a landscaping company.

There are 27 students who practice on the local campus throughout the year. They are competing for points for the Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association championship but there are also students from Maine who take part in the local event.

Good weather helped draw many spectators this year and the stands were filled throughout the day.

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