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Competitive axe throwing team in Moncton sets sights on two major goals for 2024

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It’s typically closed on Sunday’s, but the Timber Lounge in Moncton, N.B., was packed full Sunday afternoon as both axe-throwing enthusiasts and curious first-timers stepped up to hit the target.

A special axe throwing fundraiser, put on by Moncton’s competitive axe throwing team the Chocolate River Chuckers, took place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The idea behind the event was two-fold.

First, the group was hoping to raise money to help the Chuckers attend the World Double-Bit Axe Throwing Championships in Thrisk, U.K., this coming August. Second, they want to grow the sport in the Maritimes by showing the community what it’s all about.

“It almost seems a bit addictive,” laughed the Chocolate River Chuckers president, Tim Christopher.

“You get into it and you’re like ‘oh yeah I really like this,’ and you know, it’s all about pushing yourself. Some sports you’re always pushing against other people, but for me this is pushing myself to a higher limit. If I hit a bunch of fours while I should have been hitting fives, I just keep pushing and pushing and trying hard and trying harder.”

Christopher started axe throwing back in January of 2019, but back then, it was more of a recreational hobby.

“The lounge was just recently opened and some friends had said let’s go throw some axes and drink some beer and I was like ‘you can do that? I’m in,’ and it just snowballed from there,” he said.

Today, Christopher owns four of his own axes, is apart of New Brunswick’s only competitive axe throwing team, and practices multiple times a week.

In total, there are 10 members on the competitive team including three woman, and it’s a sport that they want to share with others.

“The camaraderie between people here is amazing. People from all walks of life come in here and you’re just like one big family,” said Christopher.

Melissa Saucier first attended the Timber Lounge in Moncton in 2019 when she went for two different parties. In 2020 she joined the league and in 2022 when she found out she qualified for worlds in Barrington, N.S., she decided it was time to get serious.

“If you’re like me and you never really grew up playing competitive sports, this was a way of actually doing something that is considered a sport. I’m actually an athlete in something and it’s very enjoyable,” she laughed.

“It’s addictive. You find yourself dreaming of buying your first axe and I now own two.”

As a 911 operator, she says this is a pastime that also allows her to blow off steam, handle stress and find a sense of community whether it’s at practice or during a competition.

“I find everyone here is so welcoming and so warm that even if you don’t make it to the finals, they cheer you on,” she said.

“I had a friend that threw nothing but zero, like zero absolutely nothing, in all of her rounds, she made zero for the night and she didn’t care. She had a big smile on her face and no one cared. Everyone cheered her on, ‘you’ll do better next time,’ and that’s the thing, it’s competitive, yes, but it’s a warm and loving competitive.”

Currently, seven of the 10 members on the Chocolate River Chuckers team are gearing up to head to Thrisk, U.K., for the World Championships.

The event on Sunday offered five throws for $5, a competitive single elimination tournament where half of the money went to the winner and half went to the team, and two rookie single elimination tournaments.

Darren Hudson is the owner of Timber Lounge, and he says opening up the space and letting the entry fee money go back to the Chocolate River Chuckers was a no-brainer.

“This is a dream come true, exactly what’s happening here right now I love to see it,” he said.

“We’ve built the foundation and we’ve grown the sport here locally and these guys are now taking it around just as I have all throughout my lumberjack sports career. I’ve gone around North American, Europe, Australia, New Zealand to compete and I’ve made some incredible friends along the way and now these guys get to experience that.”

He says the Timber Longue started in 2016 and came to Moncton in 2019.

Adding that he loves to share his passion with others.

“I want [the community] to see the love,” he said.

“That’s the big take away here is the community involvement of the sport and where it’s going and the individuals that are apart of this, because it means so much to each and every one of the Chuckers.”

His very first axe throw was at just 12-years-old and with people brand new to the sport coming to try it out on Sunday he said he was jealous of all the people who got to experience it for the first time.

Officials say there was no set fundraising goal for Sunday’s event, and what they hope came out of it was new people coming out to try the sport they all love so much.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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