NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Curlers stepping back on the ice in Nanaimo

First league games start Friday, Sept. 27, at Nanaimo Curling Centre

BY IAN THORPE

A new season is now getting up and running, so it has been a busy time of preparation for staff at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street.

Manager Andrea Trepanier, head ice technician Darren Horton and others have been on the job to get everything organized for the year ahead. Office staff have been processing registration by players in the many different leagues. The eight sheets of ice are in and in fact some curlers have been on the ice for some practice during this week. This past Tuesday evening featured a first rock ceremony to officially mark the start of the local curling season.

The first games in league play will actually happen tomorrow evening and from that point on there will be things happening just about every day at NCC for the next six months.

Monday mornings during the upcoming season will feature the Berwick on the Lake senior open stick league at 10 a.m., followed at 1 p.m. by a senior women’s league and a junior curling program at 3:45 p.m. The Sleeman Six Pack league with six-person teams and six-end games takes the ice at 5:45 p.m. After that is a new open fun league at 7:30 p.m. – the Leakey and Lewicki Open 2’s and 4’s – involving both regular and doubles games.

On Tuesdays, first up is the senior men 55-plus league at 10 a.m., followed in the afternoon by the business women’s open league at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday evenings are taken up with a men’s open league with draws at both 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

A school program introduces young students to curling on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. Then comes the Berwick on the Lake senior mixed league at 12:40 and the Mid-Island Co-op senior open rink of choice league at 3:15 p.m. On Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. is the Quarterway Pub’s Friendly Five open league for new and experienced players. Also on Wednesday nights, a pair of options for beginning curlers will be offered. One is a four-week learn-to-curl program and the other is an eight-week offering for novice curlers.

The Thursday daily schedule begins at 9 a.m. with another session of the school program for students. In the afternoon at 1 p.m. comes a women’s open league sponsored by Thrifty Foods and Island Timberlands. At 3:45 p.m. the ice is used for the junior curling program as well as the Rock Stars learn-to-curl program for youngsters. A popular men’s open league runs each Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m.

Senior men 55-plus take the ice again on Friday mornings at 10 a.m. In the afternoon at 4 p.m. is the Friday 4@4 league, a fun, modified mixed league with six-end games. Following that comes the IG Wealth Management Friday mixed league with draws at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Saturdays during the season are often taken up with bonspiels or other competitions. New this year on Saturday nights is the Wolf Pack open league sponsored by Wolf Brewing. It’s a fun league with six-end games, with draws at 6:30 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. if needed.

Sunday mornings are reserved for the men’s Hangover League which begins bright and early at 9:30 a.m. A drop-in curling program is planned for Sunday afternoons.

So there are opportunities for all ages and levels of ability to get involved in curling. And for those needing new equipment the NCC pro show is having a pre-season sale happening today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To learn more about any of the club programs, contact the Nanaimo Curling Centre at 250-753-3474 or visit www.nanaimocurlingclub.ca.

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

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