As a way to promote their sport and foster community spirit, the Tignish ATV Sportsman Riders Club have been hosting local events at their clubhouse in Deblois.
“We want our neighbors to understand that we are not interested in disturbing their leisure or quiet time, but rather we want to offer another motorized sport/leisure activity,” said club member Guy Chiasson, “A larger percentage of our members are fathers/mothers and grandfathers/grandmothers. So we do have a good handle on respect and honouring our neighbors. Our doors are always open to visitors to come and see what we are about.”
In January the club hosted the Tignish Watershed Management Group and the Tignish Co-op Member Relations Kids Club out to their property to hang bird houses. They have also been asked to participate in the upcoming Tignish Winter Carnival as well as hosting a run for the Miminegash Fire Hall. Club officers assisted with organizing the route for the recent Kidney Foundation run held at the Tignish Legion. They were also involved in a major fundraising event in Charlottetown in the fall, raising funds for a family with serious medical needs.
Mr Chiasson said the club has always been active in the community by supporting fundraisers such as the annual Kidney Foundation run and donating funds to different organizations such as the Christmas Hamper project hosted by Alberton Baptist Church and helping the West Prince Caring Cupboard.
“The club executive and our members feel that ATVers often get a bad rap, mainly due to a small percentage of people who choose not to obey the law and common sense,” said Mr Chiasson, “Hosting these events allows our neighbours to recognize that not all ATVing is a bad thing. Besides it often lends a helping hand to organizations who may need some funds.”
The club has also been hosting winter runs, which they have done for many years. These runs are always at the mercy of weather.
“Three years ago we hosted only one run due to significant snowfalls and a lack of proper grooming equipment. We have since rectified the groomer issue having purchased a Tucker SnowCat. However, weather can still be an issue if there is no frost in the ground before the snow, we can cut through the snow and be bogged down in the mud. Our trails are really a winter use only for the most part,” said Mr Chiasson.
The club has already hosted several runs this winter. Their first run was on the afternoon of Jan. 14 with 44 bikes registered. Subsequent runs were held the evening of Jan. 28 with 72 bikes register and Feb. 25 with 32 bikes registered.
Mr Chiasson said all of their runs have had folks from the east end of the Island join them and there was always new faces in the crowd.
“Our runs are seeing an enthusiastic turnout with 30 to 72 bikes registered. In terms of numbers attending we would say that our runs have been very successful. The executive is very pleased with the numbers of bikes and passengers,” said Mr Chiasson.
The club is looking forward to a Moon and Shine Run on March 11 and 12 that will be hosted jointly with the Evangeline club. The Tignish club portion will take place on the evening of March 11 and will have live entertainment, food and refreshments. The Evangeline portion will take place in the afternoon of 12 March, hence the name Moon and Shine.
For the upcoming winter carnival, the club will be hosting families and providing short rides on their ATVs within their own property. They will be serving hot dogs and refreshments with a camp fire and fireworks to follow, weather permitting.
“It is always an awesome feeling to participate in an event that we know will bring credit to our leisure/sport activity. Knowing that we return something to the organizations around us and building good neighbours and community is always a good idea,” said Mr Chiasson.
The club will be holding its annual Elimination Draw on April 28 at the Tignish Legion. The club has received sponsorship from Kawasaki Canada through Danny Christopher’s for a first prize of a 2017 Kawasaki, Gaudet’s Small Engine Repair provide second prize of an Echo Chainsaw, Tignish Co-op donated a third prize of $500 of home heating oil and fourth prize provided by Kitchen Aid Canada through F.J. Shea and Sons Ltd. Tickets can be purchased at each of these locations as well as by contacting the executive. Club members will be touring the area with the Kawasaki in tow, promoting ticket sales.