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From the Publisher March/April 2018

ClubWest

(To view our March/April 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

If you’re looking for a grind ’em up, spit ’em out attitude of winning at any cost in minor lacrosse, Grimsby native Jamie Taylor is decidedly not your man.

If you want your youngster to gain some experience, learn about the game and themselves along the way and be the best they can be on both fronts, then you will be glad you read the feature on the former National Lacrosse League journeyman. Taylor will be a new coach in the Lincoln Crush minor lacrosse system and he brings a wealth of experience to the table.

As a former number one draft pick and someone who made many stops along the trail of his pro career, he will have a lot of insight to offer his players and their parents.

Surprises come along. Taylor’s career was not planned. It was almost a fluke, really, as he started out as a hockey player but found his skills flatlined. When he started cross-training with lacrosse, he immediately took flight and didn’t look back.

The ability to read the tea leaves and adapt are key in the world of sports, just as it is in business.

This month’s cover story on the ongoing development of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery is proof positive of that.

Geoff Dillon and family members sensed an opportunity, did their homework and launched their new business, which was quite likely the easy part but getting it up and moving forward is the more difficult, ongoing battle.

Dillon and his team has listened repeatedly to what the market has told them and continued to adapt their offering to interest varied consumer interests and tastes. Being a good lis- tener can serve you in good stead no matter what line of work one is in and Dillon’s has picked up on that, clearly.

Starting out just over six years ago in what was, essentially, a little used drive shed on Tufford Road at the South Service Road in Beamsville, massive renovation and fine tuning has culminated in a unique consumer experience for anyone who has stopped by.

As owner of a small, independent publishing company, I know all too well the perils and benefits of going the entrepre- neurial route. A winning concoction is one part energy, one part smarts, one part creativity and one part crazy. Put all in a blender, mix well with anything from Dillon’s and you’ll be well on your way. Just kidding.

The first three parts are true, though. Great respect to Team Dillon’s and continued success and, as well, for Taylor with his lacrosse charges.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

Ooohhh yaaa!!!! Antigua anyone?

ClubWest

(To view our January/February 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By Lorraine Simpson

If snow shovelling is getting you down and the amount of time you’ve already spent looking for lost gloves has you fearing winter in Ontario, it may be time to plan a warm and sunny getaway.

Antigua is an island in the Caribbean which offers the perfect antidotes to the Ontario winter woes.

As a travel consultant, one of the perks is getting to visit some pretty spectacular places to experience them first hand so I can relate my experiences to clients.

When I visited Antigua it was love at first sight!

I was blown away by the translucent waters of turquoise and azure that look photoshopped, miles of soft white sand, and all the rum punches, daiquiris, and pina coladas you can drink.

Visitors get all this and more on Antigua, 108 square miles worth of tropical beauty located just over a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Toronto. There are 9 direct flights per week currently. They start as low as $420pp, so it is certainly accessible for most.

The Caribbean was slammed with several hurricanes in 2017 and Antigua narrowly avoided the worst. It has been left it in perfect shape to welcome visitors searching for Caribbean sunshine and vitamin SEA!.

This is not the kind of island where you have to fight for towel space with blitzed college students. For one thing, there are 365 beaches here, which means there are plenty of places to chill for everyone.

This beautiful isle specializes in laid-back luxury and honeymoon-worthy resorts, attracting travellers who like their tropical vacations to have a refined vibe.

To read the full article, click here for the January/February ClubWest online magazine.

Back on Track

ClubWest

(To view our January/February 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Highly touted as a fourth overall Midget draft selection, Grimsby’s Brandon Saigeon has shown determintation, perseverance to overcome early obstacles.

By Joanne MacDonald

Brandon Saigeon wears #17 for the Major Junior Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League, but his hometown Grimsby will always claim him as their own – and for lots of reasons that only start at centre ice.

Dynamic is a word sportswriters and scouts have used to describe his elite playing skills, competitive, driven, cerebral.

Off ice, he’s a thoughtful and respectful 19-year-old young man who measures every statement he makes to ensure it’s a nod of credit to the work of his entire team.

The Black and Gold went into the Christmas break on a five-game winning streak thanks to the 5-2 home-ice win Dec. 17 over the Peterborough Petes.

Before starting pre-school, Brandon was shooting tennis balls in the laneway by the hundred.

Hamilton’s powerplay was at work early in the first period. Ryan Moore scored to go ahead 1-0 and Saigeon also connected with the man advantage to make it 2-0 as the team cruised to the win.

Through 34 games, as of Christmas time, Saigeon leads the Bulldogs with 37 points, 17 of them goals. He also holds the top faceoff percentage on the team and leads the league in powerplay goals.

The Bulldogs wrapped up the first half of the regular season in first place in the East Division and first overall in the Eastern Conference. They’re in the thick of it and as of late December the Bulldogs stood with 48 points in 34 games with 21 wins and seven losses.

Predictions for the new year? Not taking a chance, Saigeon says with a smile – unwilling to jinx what has been a great start to the season – he’s just happy the hard work is paying off for the whole team and says there’s no other group of guys with which he would rather win.

Determination keeps Brandon Saigeon reaching for his goals, just like this one.

“I’m working hard for the Bulldogs right now. The farther we go in playoffs the more NHL interest there will be throughout our whole team,” he said.

Serious injury tested the mettle of the young hockey star when his second year in the OHL was cut short by almost half the season when he broke both forearm bones, shattering the radius and ulna in his left arm in a January 2016 game against the Mississauga Steelheads.

But he’s back with his signature work ethic and the resiliency that runs through his DNA.

By the age of three, Saigeon was shooting rows of tennis balls in the driveway at his netminding grandfather, Wayne Saigeon.

And his dad, Brent, an athlete who played competitive tennis at the national and international level and was a member of the Canadian Jr. Team, removed the tennis net from the backyard court and replaced it with two hockey nets.

Saigeon credits the support of his dad and mom, Charlotta – another athlete in the family’s star lineup – for teaching him how to carry himself as a young athlete working to achieve his goals.

Charlotta was an Olympic swimmer and competed at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

“My Dad went to the University of Houston Texas on a tennis scholarship and it was there he met my Mom who was studying on a swimming scholarship.”

Brent says Brandon has always worked hard to improve his game.

“Whether it be shooting hundreds of pucks a night on our tennis court or running the hills at our local park for conditioning, he has always worked hard to get better.”

It’s a work ethic that has been passed down the family line. Says Brandon, “I think I got that edge earlier than most kids with my parents both being athletes and so supportive.”

To read the full article, click here for the January/February ClubWest online magazine.