Sweeping into curling season
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
Whether you’re old or new, curling might be for you. That should be the slogan of the London Curling Club’s free skills clinic aimed at beginner and novice curlers to encourage them to sign up for the club’s 165th season.
The group held its first of four sessions Saturday (Oct. 13) and about 30 people came out to try the shuffleboard on ice sport with players ranging from teenagers to retirees.
“It’s always exciting to have new people come to the game,” said Ken Walmsley, an on-and-off curling coach for the last 35 years. “I’ve been coaching for a long, long time and have fun doing that because from my point of view the only people who can bring new recruits in are curlers themselves.”
The rookie curlers sometimes fell when pushing out of the hacks and often threw the stones wide if they could even make it to the hogline, but they all did it with a wide grin.
When the two-hour clinic finished almost all of the participants scurried to the viewing area of the Lyle Street curling house to sign up for the new season—not that the club’s membership is hurting though.
The organization boasts a membership of about 700 members, but new people are always welcome, assures Walmsley.
That’s good news to prospect Cindy Coleman, who could have fielded a curling team, with an alternate, of her own at the practice session.
Instead of the usual shopping for a girls’ day out, the 32 year old and her four friends opted to learn some curling.
“We’ve done it once before and we just wanted to come out and try it again and hopefully join a league,” Coleman said, adding she prefers to sweep to keep warm in the arena. “It’s great and good fun.”
A retired lab technician from the London Health Sciences Centre, Joan Crosby signed up to a league as well but she’s not necessarily bringing her friends along with her, instead possibly getting new ones in the process.
“I thought it would be a fun thing to pick up because it’s a nice sociable thing to do,” the 59 year old said.
Upcoming curling clinics will be held Oct. 27, Jan. 7 and Feb. 18.
For more information about the London Curling Club, visit www.londoncurling.ca/index.html.
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