Lindsay Axe Club gutted by COVID, will close end of April

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The Lindsay Axe Club is the latest local business casualty of the coronavirus and its variants.

Opened in the winter of 2018 as an expansion of its Peterborough location, owner Carlo Raponi saw an opportunity for the growing sport and felt “that Lindsay had a great demographic.”

“The Lindsay Chamber, as well as a number of local businesses, were very welcoming. For us, it felt like a great fit,” he tells the Advocate.

However, even though vaccines are being given now across the country, Raponi says the “ongoing oscillation of lockdowns and restricted openings have taken their toll.”

“I feel that the lockdowns have created a mentality in people that, when we are open, they aren’t as responsive to getting out and engaging with their community as they were before.”

His fear is that this thinking will continue, even after vaccinations are complete. The original Peterborough location is holding on though and will remain open.

Raponi says he has a lot of great memories at the Lindsay Axe Club.

His favourite is probably the “N64 axe-throwing tournament” that was held in 2019. It was a spinoff of a tournament held in Minnesota where the top 64 players in North America came to play.

“We decided that we would host a tournament, open to anyone other than those 64 players. We figured that with those throwers out of the way the next hotshots would have a chance at glory.”

Cameron’s Brewing sponsored the event and within a day of opening registration they had sold out. Players came from all over Quebec and Ontario and from as far south as Texas.

“It was an incredible event,” he says.

Other great memories include those nights when Lindsay Axe Club hosted its leagues, whether adult or youth leagues.

“The community, friendships and camaraderie that was fostered in those leagues will always be our favourite. Our league members are good-hearted people that have always given the Lindsay Axe Club it’s character and personality.”

Raponi wanted to thank all those who left their mark on the Lindsay Axe Club, whether in league play, or just in general celebrations or visits.

As small businesses in Kawartha Lakes are now largely open and because they have not been a big source of COVID infections anywhere, he hopes people will “get out and engage” in the things they enjoy doing and to support “those businesses you love.”

He points out the Peterborough Axe Club is still up and running and hopes to see both new and familiar faces there in the future.

Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also on the communications team of the Basic Income Canada Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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