© Submitted photo
Lakeland citizens of the year Leisjea Horseman and Jacquie Swiderski, from left, were celebrated by the community during a citizen of the year banquet on Saturday. The two were commemorated for their volunteer commitment to the Lakeland Curling Club in Christopher Lake.
Humbled by a banquet in their honour, Lakeland area curling enthusiasts Jacquie Swiderski and Leisjea Horseman are Lakeland citizens of the year.
“I definitely feel honoured,” Swiderski said on Sunday, after Saturday’s well-attended banquet at the Christopher Lake Legion Hall.
“I didn’t do the volunteering for the accolades, but it’s nice to be recognized.”
“It was definitely a privilege last night, and it was really nice to see the attendance of everyone,” Horseman said.
Serving as volunteer manager of the Lakeland Curling Club, Swiderski spends most of her time helping seniors with the game, while Horseman’s focus is on young curlers -- a testament to the game’s multigenerational appeal.
“I really like working with the kids and giving the option of a sport that they can do all their lives,” Horseman said.
“It’s not like basketball or volleyball where you play until a certain age and then it’s so intensely physical that most people can’t continue with it.”
Located next to the Christopher Lake School, it’s easily accessible for the students who participate in the after-school curling program, she said.
“I love the game of curling and I think that the curling club plays a really important role in our community,” Swiderski said. “It is the hub of activity in the wintertime.
I didn’t do the volunteering for the accolades, but it’s nice to be recognized. Jacquie Swiderski
“I think it’s a benefit to everyone, but of particular benefit to seniors because they’re actually doing something. In our society, today, people seem to spend a lot of time either watching television or working on the Internet, and to me that’s not really good for your body, and if you have a healthy body you have a healthy mind.”
The Lakeland Curling Club is run mainly by volunteers who also deserve accolades, Swiderski said, adding that they’ve helped make their two rinks the best in the province, along with icemaker Dave Goodwin.
“Dave works very hard at it, and he has some seniors who volunteer their time to help him out when he’s flooding and doing all the hard work,” she said.
“He’s dedicated and he knows what he’s doing.”
Reflecting on the citizen of the year banquet, Horseman said that it’s an event she’s always supported financially, but didn’t always attend.
Now that she’s experienced it as a recipient firsthand, it’s something she intends on attending every year.
“It really is something,” she said. “It was very special.”