Ice has been installed at the curling rink in Gibsons and activities are in full swing, including a nascent program that introduces young people to the game.
The Gibsons Curling Club’s junior curling program began last year with four curlers and has continued teaching young people, from age 11 to 18, the skills involved in curling.
The young curlers practise shot making, sweeping, strategy and the etiquette of the sport. As these new curlers improve their game, the Club will explore entering teams into curling events in the Lower Mainland and perhaps the BC Winter Games. Sessions start at 11 a.m. every Saturday.
At 12:30 each Saturday the juniors yield the ice to the Special Olympic curlers. Last February, a team of five competed at the 2019 BC Winter Games in Vernon, where they carried the Zone 5 banner during the opening ceremony.
While the Club works to foster interest in the sport among Sunshine Coast youth, the rink remains an active hub for adult curlers.
Adult league play sweeps over the ice every weekday evening, including learn-to-curl lessons, a one-on-one league, a women’s league, a mixed gender league, an open league and a fun league. A daytime league for curlers over the age of 55 is also active twice weekly.
Outside the regular season, the Club has also planned several bonspiels, starting with the Icebreaker Funspiel, planned for this Saturday for curling members.
Bonspieling involves the fun of friendly competition combined with social good times off the rink after the games.
Other Bonspiels to be held at the Curling Club will include a Men’s Bonspiel from Jan. 17 to 19, and the Masters’ Bonspiel from March 16 to 18.
The Curling Club is also used for a number of social gatherings including birthdays and Christmas parties. The public is welcome to drop in any time and learn more about the Club and people who make curling a fun part of their winter activities on the Sunshine Coast.
To get involved, contact the club by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-886-7512.
– Submitted by Fred Rupert