Curlers ready to start sweeping

Recent weeks have been a busy time of preparation down at the Nanaimo Curling Centre.

As we prepare to head into a new calendar season next week, fall and winter sports are getting underway. One of those sports takes place at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street…

Recent weeks have been a busy time of preparation down at the curling club. Manager Denise Wood and head ice technician Darren Horton have been working with staff members and volunteers to get the facility in order and leagues organized for the year ahead. The eight sheets of ice are now in, ready to welcome curlers of all ages and ability levels to another season of the ‘roaring game.’

To officially get things underway, the club is holding an open house this Friday (Sept. 20), from noon to 9 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. both days. The ice will be ready for curlers to practise on, and staff will be on hand to take player registrations. Curlers returning from last year should have already been contacted by league reps, and are encouraged to drop by the club to officially register and pay league dues. A reminder that the deadline for dues payment is Oct. 15.

As for individuals looking to get onto a team, Wood and her office staff are taking names and attempting to get players placed. For new curlers, learn-to-curl clinics have been scheduled for Monday (Sept. 23) to Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m. each day. Club volunteers will be available to explain the basics of the game and provide some on-ice instruction. There is no equipment needed except for clean running shoes and comfortable clothing. Curlers with some experience are invited to attend intermediate clinics on the Tuesday and Wednesday during the same hours. There is no charge for the clinics, but participants are requested to bring a donation for Loaves and Fishes community food bank.

The local curling season will officially begin on Sept. 26, and from that point on there will be something happening just about every day for the next six months at the curling centre.

The weekly schedule for Mondays during the upcoming season shows a senior men’s 68-plus league beginning play at 10 a.m., followed by a CIBC Wood Gundy senior ladies’ league at 1 p.m. The ice is then used from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. for junior players ages 9 to 19. Returning on Monday evenings is the Sleeman Six Pack league.  Starting at 6 p.m., teams with six players compete in six-end games. Also on Monday nights is a ladies’ rink of choice league at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesdays begin with the Wood Gundy senior men’s 55-plus league with draws at 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. A business ladies’ league takes over from 5 to 6:30 p.m., then an open men’s league has draws at both 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Wheelchair curling is featured on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m., taking advantage of the fact the NCC is proud to be totally wheelchair accessible. At 1 p.m. on Wednesdays is a senior mixed league, followed by the Mid Island Co-op senior men’s rink of choice league from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. In the evenings, a ladies’ classified league begins at 6:30 p.m. At 8 p.m. on Wednesdays the club is offering Curling 101, a 10-week novice adult recreational league that features instruction and strategy sessions as well as game play.

Thursday mornings begin with the senior men’s 68-plus league at 10 a.m. A ladies’ rink of choice league takes the ice at 1 p.m. Then at 3:30 p.m. is curling for Special Olympics athletes, as well as junior curling from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. A popular open men’s league goes at 6:30 p.m., following by the Christensen Collision cash league on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

Senior men 55 and over take the ice again on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., with another draw happening at 12:45 p.m. A Nanaimo school district league plays at 4 p.m., followed in the evening by the Investor’s Group mixed league with draws at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Saturdays are often taken up with bonspiels, mini-spiels, or other competitions during the season. Sunday mornings are reserved for the men’s Hangover League, with games starting at 9:30 a.m.  Practice ice is often available on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. New this year on Sunday afternoons is an open doubles league. Beginning on Oct. 6, two separate four-week sessions of the innovative format are planned, beginning at 1 p.m.

For more information on any league, or to register, contact the club at 250-753-3474.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.