Curling slides into second half of the season

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Nora Peter – From the Hack

With the new year upon us the curling club looks ahead to the second half of our season, hopeful that we can interest more people from our local community to take up this great game of curling. There are half year memberships available and if you started the season only curling one night or Rec League only and wish to become a full member, adjustments can be made to your membership. We will run a “learn to curl” night as well if there is enough interest. There are a variety of membership options pick the one that suits you!

We wrapped up the first half of the season with several leagues finishing off their draws. The Senior Men and the Recreational League got into the Christmas spirit generously donating to the local Food Bank. The Rec league collected 246 pounds of canned goods in their annual food drive while the Senior Men realized more than $760 from their “food bank initiative”. Thank you to both groups for thinking of others and giving generously.

The Thursday night Men’s finished a nine-team round robin draw with Paul Walker and his team of Harry Dykxhoorn, Henry Balder and Gerald Sandham knocking off the Glendale Boys team in their final game to come out on top with a near perfect record. New teams will be formed for the next draw which begins on Thursday Jan. 4th. If you have not been curling with the Men but would like to get in the draw you need to contact Win Cull and let him know.

The Ladies held their annual Yuletide fun spiel just before Christmas with six teams curling and another 13 former curlers joining in for the social and lunch. Betty Tull along with Diane Burgess and Tracy-Kloepfer-Court took first prize. Thank you to Coyle’s Country Store who sponsored the prizes. At lunch Convenor Betty Tull acknowledged all the Past Presidents who were there as well as Nancy Warren and Regine Ross who are also Honourary Members and Kay Tully who though not a president of the club was the person who sewed the tams for the Bronze Broom Bonspiel for many, many years. It was great to see so many Past Presidents and former members joining us for the day and we hope the tradition will continue next year.

On the last night of the Monday Night Mixed draw curlers were treated to a little holiday fun with a ‘T-line turkey toss’ on each sheet of ice. Curlers had a chance to draw closest to the frozen turkey to take home the bird. The overall high points winner of this seven-team draw was the team of Ken and Olga Patterson with Diane Burgess and a weekly spare.

Curling will be featured on TV a lot in the next 3-4 months, beginning with the Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials on January 5th on CBC. Many of the elite curlers who were knocked out in the Roar of the Rings have teamed up to keep their Olympic dream alive with this newest chance to represent their country at the games in S. Korea. The trials start on the 2nd but can only be seen on-line until tv coverage starts on the 5th at 2 p.m on. CBC. The following week sees the Continental Cup from London (Ontario) getting full coverage on TSN January 11 at 9:30 a.m.

Many of the teams who will compete in this event will represent their countries at the Olympics and use it as a warm-up to the Olympics. Also taking place at this event is a playdown between Canada and Brazil for the 2nd North American team spot at the World Men’s Championship to be held in Las Vegas this year. Glenn Howard and his team will represent Canada in this playdown.

If you follow curling you are probably scratching your head and asking why if Canada is the reigning World Champion (Brad Gushue) do we have to play vs Brazil? Well the short answer is that the host nation automatically gets an entry – USA – and the way the Worlds are set up the Americas only get two entries. Brazil has entered a challenge for the second spot which means Canada has to play off against them.

So then you ask why wouldn’t you have a ‘better’ team than Glenn Howard’s team play for Canada like McEwen who lost at the Trials and the answer to that is that the team to play had to be submitted before the trials were completed and Glenn Howard was the highest placed ‘loser’ for the Road to the Roar so he got the call. A lot of pressure to put on ‘the old guy’!

Brazil has challenged the US for this entry and has yet to win a game in the best of five match-up. London will have an extra sheet of ice available for these games during Continental Cup play. Could be interesting!

Happy new year, hope to see you on the ice! Curling rocks!!