BY IAN THORPE
Having basically lost last season due to COVID-19, organizers at the Nanaimo Curling Centre are thrilled to report that everything is back on track for this year and what will hopefully be a normal season is now getting underway.
That means it has been a busy time of preparation for Andrea Trepanier, who returns as club manager. Also back is Debra May in charge of the club’s pro shop and Linnia Etmannski who oversees the coffee shop. New this year is head ice technician Daryl Gordoncillo, who has stepped up following the retirement of Darren Horton.
The club’s elected executive is headed up this year by president April Gale-Seixeiro, assisted by vice-president Mary Ellen Konyer, past-president Brian McRory, secretary Kellie Rice and treasurer Tom Weinreich. Others on the board are Terry Miller, Earle Plain, Carolle MacIntosh, Kory Hurst and George Duffell.
Of course all safety protocols are in place and the club has decided that anyone entering the curling centre must be fully vaccinated. Masks do not have to be worn on the ice, but are required when moving around all other parts of the building.
The season is now underway and the ice sheets in the Wall Street facility will be busy most days of the week with leagues, clinics and bonspiels through March.
The regular schedule for each Monday begins with the Berwick on the Lake Open Stick league with draws in the morning. A Senior Women’s league goes in the early afternoon, following by junior curling. In the evening, teams in the Island Time Six Pack league play six-end games with the Leakey and Lewick Open 2’s and 4’s league following at night.
Tuesdays start with the Mark’s Import Auto Senior Men’s 55-plus league in the morning, with teams drawn from a hat each square. Practice ice is available in the afternoon, followed by the Island Curb Appeal Business Women’s Open rink of choice league in the evening and the Slegg Building Materials Men’s Open rink of choice league at night.
Ice time on Wednesday mornings has been set aside for a school program. The Berwick on the Lake Senior Mixed with teams drawn from a hat has the ice after lunch. Then comes the Country Grocer’s Senior Open rink of choice league in the late afternoon and the Tsolum and Tsable Friendly Five Open Classified league in the evening. An eight-week adult learn-to-curl program will teach the basics on Wednesday nights.
Thursdays will begin with BMO Private Wealth Open Doubles, a new league for anyone interested in trying doubles curling. In the afternoon, the Cottonwood Golf Women’s Open rink of choice league gets underway. The junior program has the ice after school, followed by the Men’s Open rink of choice league at night.
The Senior Men’s 55-plus league is on the ice again Friday mornings. Afternoon practice ice is followed by the Friday 4@4 fun mixed league and the Wolf Pack Open rink of choice league at night.
Saturdays during the season are often booked with bonspiels, or else used for practice ice and drop-in curling. This year, though, a new Out and About LGBTQIA fun league will use the ice at night. Sundays begin bright and early with the Sunday Morning Men’s Hangover rink of choice league. Practice ice is usually available on Sunday afternoons.
As for bonspiels, a couple are just around the corner: the Berwick on the Lake Senior Stick Bonspiel happens today through Saturday, Oct. 21-23 then the annual Halloween Monster Mash Open Spiel is scheduled for Oct. 29-31.
It is still possible to register in certain leagues, or to sign up for instruction. For more information, visit http://nanaimocurlingclub.ca or call 250-753-3474.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about local sports once a month in the Nanaimo News Bulletin.