Cougar Dome Chatter by Tanya Colburne
Chatter, chatter, chatter … there’s lots of chatter following our grand opening, and we have all of you to thank for that.
A huge Cougar Dome thank you to all members of the community who took the opportunity to come down to 72 North St. to check out our facility and give a few of our offerings a try. With more than 500 attendees, the opening was a roaring success involving lots of celebration, trials, prizes and giveaways, and of course, a cake - it’s not a celebration without cake.
We were also honoured to have special guests Scott Armstrong, MP for Colchester-Cumberland-Musquodoboit Valley and parliamentary secretary; Karen Casey, Colchester North MLA and education minister; Lenore Zann, Truro-Bible Hill-Salmon River-Millbrook MLA; Truro Mayor Bill Mills; Jack Graham, International Tennis Federation board member; and our own Cobequid Society for Athletic Excellence board members Ron Chisholm, Jamie Bagnell and Nicole Bagnell. Scott Annand was unable to join us. Our guests assisted us with the ribbon cutting, which was truly a moment to remember as we marked the official opening of the dome.
Following the formalities, we opened the facility for free use, and invited everyone to join our golf pros Heather Cameron and Stuart Cox, tennis pro Marijke Nel and bocce ball representatives Keith and Linda Finck in a little fun, while some of our own Cougar Dome staff showcased and shared their soccer skills with the youngsters on site. Staying true to our slogan, “Living Life, Having Fun, Staying Fit at The Cougar Dome” the afternoon was filled with new experiences, lots of laughter and tons of physical fitness, and we loved it. Now, to keep the momentum going – here’s what we have in store.
As I sit here writing this, we are hosting the largest tennis junior Atlantic championships ever held, and the place is booming. With the top youth players from all four Atlantic provinces here, I can tell you, these kids could put most adults to shame. I know I just started beginner tennis lessons, but seriously, these kids can hit.
Following the weekend event, we entered into our last week of adult and kids tennis lessons, prior to March break. We will begin a second round of programming with even more available for all ages and all skill levels. Visit www.cougardome.ca for full details.
Now, let’s talk about March break. This being our first year of operation, we wanted to do something special. We are hosting an All Sorts of Sports Plus camp, during which we will be offering a different sport each morning, including football, athletics, soccer, golf and tennis, as well as arts, crafts, outdoor play, etc. in the afternoons. All sessions are led by some of Nova Scotia, and/or Canada’s best coaches, and the fee is $150 for the week, or $30 a day. Sign-up now, as spaces are filling up fast.
Prior to, during and following March break, for those who are interested, we have bocce ball every Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m., as well as our open golf range sessions from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays; 7 to 9 a.m. on Fridays; and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For those who do not already know, I wish to share with you a little secret … if our open range sessions are not convenient for you, give us a call or drop in, and if our turf is open, we will gladly set-up a bay for your individual or group use.
For those who like a little healthy competition, we will be running our new Hoops for Cash golf event during the month of March, which is a ton of fun, and the best part, the winner goes home with half the pot.
Although a poor segway, speaking of the pot, as some of you may have read, although we are very proud of the fact that we built our facility on time and on budget, and that we have had unmatched support from our community. Unfortunately, we still have debts to pay, and as such, our fundraising efforts continue.
We’ve raised more than $1.75 million but we have another $450,000 to go, and through sponsorship and donation requests, as well as grant proposals and our own toonie drive, we hope to raise the remaining funds required within the next few months. As a privately owned, charity organization, we have a very solid business plan, which we feel confident will more than cover any and all operating expenses, which means the requests we’re making now are one-time only. That said, any assistance that may be available would be greatly appreciated.
I have my first singles ladder match coming up, and I need to practice, so I will sign off for this edition, and we will chat soon.
Tanya Colburne is the facility director for the Cougar Dome in Truro. Her column will appear monthly in the Truro Daily News and is available on trurodaily.com.