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Port Medway logroller competes at Worlds

Ella Stevens, left, competes at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis. from July 20 to 22.
Ella Stevens, left, competes at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis. from July 20 to 22.

PORT MEDWAY - What Ella Stevens likes best about logrolling is the adrenaline rush she gets when she’s on the log competing against someone.

“It’s really fun,” she said.

Ella, from Port Medway, NS, competed at the Lumberjack World Championships, in Hayward, Wis. from July 20 to 22.

Now 14, Ella competed in the amateur division in the U13 age group.

“You put a big cedar or synthetic log in the water, and in my division they put carpet around it for better traction, and then there are two people on the log, and it’s usually best three out of five,” said Ella, explaining the sport of logrolling.

The object is to cause an opponent to fall of the log. In the middle of the log is a line, which neither competitor can cross. If either opponent crosses the line, she or he is disqualified.

The length of a match depends completely on who’s competing, said Ella. Because people in her age group tend to be a little bigger and can spin the logs faster, matches go more quickly. Younger children, because they’re lighter, tend to have longer matches.

Ella has grown up participating in logrolling. Charmaine Stevens, Ella’s mother, grew up doing the sport as well. That’s how Ella was introduced to the activity. Ella said initially she wasn’t very good at the sport, but as she got older she improved.

For Ella, competing in the sport isn’t challenge-free. She gets nervous before events, which she said is difficult. And as far as physical challenges, Ella said one of the hardest things is back stepping.

“When you’re on the log, it can either go frontward or backward,” she said. “Back stepping is when you’re running backward, which is very hard, and front stepping is when you’re just running.”

Now that the championships are over, Ella hasn’t been practicing as much, but when she does practice she sometimes goes to her friend Grace Perry’s house in Barrington. Another place she practices is Hibernia Campground, where there are also logs.

In the winter, when Ella is not logrolling, she continues to stay active by snowboarding and dancing.

During the logrolling season, Ella usually goes to two competitions at Hibernia Campground. She also normally competes at the Wild Axe Lumberjack AXEperience in Barrington.

Ella said she plans to continue to go to competitions and would at some point like to become a professional logroller.

This weekend, Ella is set to compete in the Woodsmen competition at Hibernia Campground in South Brookfield, NS. She plans to compete in logrolling, axe-throwing, sawing, and canoeing. The Woodsmen event is from Sept. 1 to 4.

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