ESTEVAN - The Estevan Curling Club is looking forward to the start of the upcoming season.
The club will have several different leagues this year, as well as other opportunities for curlers to hit the ice and throw some rocks at the Power Dodge Curling Centre. Leagues are slated to open on Oct. 25. There will be youth leagues on Sundays through Co-op Kids Curling.
“For the youth program, we’re very pleased with the uptake on that. There was great support at city-wide registration again. I’m very happy,” said manager Pauline Ziehl Grimsrud.
Afternoon drop-in curling will be Mondays and Wednesdays, starting at 1 p.m., for curlers of any age. Tuesdays will be busy, with the youth program, TS&M competitive league and doubles curling in the evenings.
Wednesdays will be a recreational league and Thursdays will be the open league.
Fridays will be for drop-in curling a few times during the season.
The curling club also hopes to have a seven-week adult learn to curl program, starting in November. The day of the week has yet to be determined.
People have been phoning in to register for evening leagues. Individuals new to the community want to be added to teams.
“I’ve been in the process … of contacting our teams, our regular teams, seeing if they’re going to be curling this year, and what leagues they want to be in. So far it’s been pretty positive.”
The majority of curlers have said they want to be back, despite the current uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Adult leagues only had a few weeks of curling last season.
“I’ve had a number of comments from individuals that are ready to get back to seeing their friends, getting some exercise in the evenings in the winter, and people who just miss playing. So I think it’s going to be a positive for the community for people to have some place to come and have some socialization and have a little bit of exercise.”
The curling club has said it will follow CurlSask COVID regulations this season. Masks will have to be worn at all times in the building, although those under 18 can remove their mask when they’re on the ice. People will also have to sign in when accessing the lounge.
A CurlSask ice-making clinic is scheduled for Oct. 22-24, with people trying to get their Level 2 certificate.
The process of making the ice has been happening the past couple of weeks. They hit a snag during the installation, because they changed from a six-cylinder to an eight-cylinder in their ice plant, and a couple of valves weren’t regulated like they should be.
It was an easy fix, but they lost everything they had completed.
“We had a busy couple of days. Lots of work happened. We’ve installed all of the rings and the lines.”
Sealing and flooding have also taken place.
The club has added additional circles to the ice for the youth curlers, and they now have a Klutch Curling system, which is also new for the club.
A number of special events are scheduled for this season, most notably the provincial men’s and women’s masters tournament from March 10-13, 2022. The club was to host masters’ provincials in 2020, but they were cancelled midway through one of the draws due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the other highlights will be a CurlSask youth curling clinic on Nov. 20, a bonspiel for U15-18 curlers on Jan. 14 and 15, the ninth annual corporate bonspiel March 18 and 19, and a Sask. Curling Tour doubles event Jan. 21-23.
There will also be high school curling events happening at the club in January.