The Golden Curling Club has already hosted their first bonspiel of the season.                                Star Photo

The Golden Curling Club has already hosted their first bonspiel of the season. Star Photo

Golden Curling Club off to a strong start

The Golden Curling Club is off to a strong start to their season this year. The Club has a steady league that runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays with eight teams playing on both nights, as well as drop in curling on Friday nights. The club also already has a bonspiel under their belt this season.

“The bonspiel was awesome, even though we didn’t win,” said Gilles St. Yves, who is a long-time member and president of the curling club. “The lounge was open and the younger people enjoyed themselves there. They’re pretty happy with the group of guys we have that do the bar.”

Part of the resurgence of the curling club has been with the youth movement. More and more young people are getting involved with the club over the last few years, bringing the average age from around 60 just over 10 years ago, down to 35 to 40 this year.

Bringing in younger players has been one of the focuses of the curling club, who have reached out to local schools to bring students in to learn how to curl. The high schools in the area come in twice a week right now to curl, and will also do so in February.

The club has also worked at cultivating more of an online presence on social networking websites such as Facebook to try and reach younger prospective curlers.

“We’ve had a lot of younger people playing which is aways really nice to see,” said St. Yves. “It’s nice to have new people step forward and be gung-ho about it.”

While the season is already underway, it’s not too late to sign up. The club is still recruiting players for league play, and are offering financial incentives, such as pro-rating league fees for any late joiners.

St. Yves says that the club is doing their best to make sure anyone who wants to play can play, and will try to put late joiners on a team, or have them on deck as a floating spare player for when teams are short.

“We want people to play, so we’re being as flexible as we can,” said St. Yves. “We’re happy with what’s happening this season, but we can always use more teams and players.”

For those who don’t want to commit to league play, St. Yves says Friday drop in is your best bet. While the drop-in sessions are currently on hold until December 29 due to private bookings for events, when they resume it’s a popular place for beginners to get their start.

The drop in costs only $5, and often league players will come and help teach the game to newcomers.

As well, St. Yves is looking into bringing in clinics to help teach the game and spread its reach.

“Even some of our less new curlers would like to learn a little more, so it would be nice to get it going,” said St. Yves. “Hopefully sometime in the next few weeks we’ll get it going.”

For now, the curling club has some events planned in the coming months. In addition to the Friday night drop in, there’s drop in during the days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. for two hours. There’s a couple bonspiels in the mix too, with their annual Combo Spiel set to happen in early February. The Combo Spiel is a men’s and women’s bonspiel happening concurrently, with no mixed teams.

The club is also looking into securing an end of season closing bonspiel in March.

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