New curling season is going to rock

Last week marked the official start of fall, which heralded, among other things, the start of another local curling season.

This week marked the official start of fall, which heralded, among other things, the start of another local curling season.

Things have been busy during the past several weeks at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street. manager Denise Wood, head ice technician Darren Horton and club staff and volunteers have been getting everything organized for the year ahead.

Starting today (Sept. 25), there is pre-season practice time available on the eight sheets of fresh ice. From Friday through Sunday, the club will hold an open house and player registration. On Monday (Sept. 29), those new to the sport will be able to take advantage of Learn to Curl clinics from 2-4 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m.

The first day of league curling will be Tuesday (Sept. 30). From that point on, the ice will be busy most days of the week with various leagues and bonspiels for all age groups.

Depending on registration numbers, the schedule for Mondays will begin with a 68-plus senior men’s league at 10 a.m., followed by a senior ladies’ league at 1 p.m. The ice is then used by an after-school junior curling program. At 6 p.m., teams in the Sleeman Six Pack league play six-end games, with a women’s open league taking the ice at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesdays start with the senior men’s CIBC Wood Gundy league, open to curlers 55-plus, with draws at 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. A business women’s league has the ice at 5 p.m., then an open men’s league has draws at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Time on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. has been scheduled for wheelchair curling. A senior mixed league takes the ice at 1 p.m., after which comes the senior open rink of choice at 3:30 p.m. In the evening, a new Almost Famous Friendly Five open league goes at 6:15 p.m., followed by novice adult recreational curling at 7 p.m. The league runs for 10 weeks, with equipment and instruction provided to those wishing to learn the basics.

Thursdays will see the 68-plus men’s league in action again with with 10 a.m. draw, followed by a women’s league at 1 p.m. There is curling for Special Olympic athletes and the junior curling program later in the afternoon. A popular open men’s league gets underway each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Then at 8:30 p.m. is a new Two/Four league sponsored by Longwood Brewery, with teams playing a variety of regular curling, doubles and skins games.

Senior men 55-plus are on the ice again Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. At 4 p.m. is the Tutor Doctor District 68 open league and Friday nights are busy with the Investors Group mixed league.

Saturdays are often booked with bonspiels, clinics, or mini-spiels. Sunday morning is the traditional time slot for the men’s Hangover League at 9:30 a.m. Then an innovative new Open Pairs League will play at 1 p.m. featuring teams of two players taking turns delivering six stones each with either a regular or stick delivery. This fun format, also known at Sturling, is the fastest growing form of play at Canadian curling clubs.

Another new curling activity will happen Sunday afternoons. A Little Rockers program for children ages 5-9 will introduce kids to the sport with mini rocks, a mixture of on- and off-ice activities.

For more information about any programs or leagues, please contact the club at 250-753-3474.

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