Usually it’s not socially acceptable to throw rocks in public but there are a few exceptions.
One of those is the sport of curling and if you’ve ever wanted to learn how, now is a great time to try your hand at it.
The Juan de Fuca Curling Centre, based out of the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood, has started a new league aimed at beginners and those who have been out of the sport for some time but want to get back into it. The Brush Up Your Game League is for those who have been curling for less than three years or have been off the ice for quite some time.
“When I started curling a lot of people laughed at me and then I challenged those people to try it,” said Cor Marley, the group’s secretary. She noted it’s a great sport with a fun, competitive environment that provides a great workout. “It’s the best of both worlds … It’s great.”
Marley has a friend that is in Canada on a work placement from the U.S. “She said she wanted to something really Canadian while she was here,” Marley explained. So the pair decided curling would be it and last year they joined the Carol Skinner Getting Started League with the curling club. It’s a full year program that starts with teaching sessions for the first half and finishes with league play.
“We were just hooked right away,” Marley said.
But this year the pair wanted to encourage more members who are relatively new to the sport or have taken an extended hiatus to hit the ice with them. They recognized just how intimidating it can be to jump back into the sport and even more discouraging if your competition have been curling for 20 or 30 years and you’re getting walloped at every match.
“We thought why don’t we start a league that will address that … and can address some of those frustrations,” Marley said. “They just want to get their feet under them.”
Thus, the Brush Up Your Game League was born. This new league starts on Oct. 3 and runs Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. But there are only seven spots left in the eight team format.
Another added feature is that the league will be playing on four of the eight sheets of ice, while the Getting Started League will be on the other four sheets and coaches will be available to call on. “It’s two separate groups but we’re going to help each other out,” Marley added.
The West Shore Curling Centre is also hosting skills clinics at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre (1767 Island Hwy.) who are open to anyone that would like to get in a little practice before the league starts.
Beginner camps run on Sept. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Sept. 23 from noon until 2 p.m.
Advanced clinics run on Sept. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Sept. 23 from 2 until 4 p.m. An open house that was scheduled for the weekend was cancelled due to some delays with the ice and organizers hope it will be rescheduled sometime in the near future.
The group also has men’s, women’s, seniors, mixed, junior and beginner leagues. For more information go to juandefucacurlingcentre.com.