CURLING CLUB TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Throughout the world we all find ourselves in an unprecedented situation due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. We were fortunate at the Williams Lake Curling Club that our season ended on March 13th, just prior to the strict orders put in place for BC residents by the Minister of Health, Mr. Adrian Dix, and our top Health Official, Dr. Bonnie Henry. In respect of these orders, and for the protection of our club members and members of the public, the WLCC has been in contact with organizers and cancelled all bookings for upcoming and future bookings, including everything right through the summer at this point. If the situation in BC changes, and if the official orders are recidended or modified, the WLCC will again respond by adapting our bookings. Until then we are asking community members to stay home if they can, stay safe through social/physical distancing (2m), limit their outings, and above all, stay healthy! A number of our members continue to be active in the community as first responders, workers at essential service outlets, and educators who have been tasked with the care of some of our community’s children. We sincerely thank all these people who do so much to help everyone out and hope for a good outcome of safety and health throughout this pandemic. Stay safe everyone!
YEAR IN REVIEW
September/October – As usual, the year starts with the Manager and Ice-Techs getting things ready for the beginning of a new season. This year everything was ready on time (no major break-downs like last year!), which was to have the ice in and ready for the week of October 7th – 11th. During that first week members were encouraged to come down and register and to throw some rocks to get back into the swing of things. This year we also held free “Learn To Curl” sessions every evening from 7 – 9pm. These lessons were for anyone …. returning members, new members, possible new members, and community members just wanting to give curling a try. It was a very busy, and hugely successful week. Curling started on Tuesday, October 15th, right after the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Leagues – We had 5 leagues again this year: Monday Social League (8 teams – Coordinator Naomi Miller), Tuesday Sponsors League (4 teams – Coordinator Brian Purdy), Wednesday Ladies League (6 teams – Coordinator Donna Shiach), Thursday Men’s League (11 teams – Coordinator Darcy Lillico), and Friday Mixed Fun League (9 teams – Coordinators Bruce & Lynn Geier). Overall, our membership was up again this year with new members joining in 4 of the 5 leagues. One highlight was that the Monday Social League had roughly 50% of it’s players being brand new curlers to the club. Is this a sign of great things to come for the growth of our club? Included in this were our two annual Bonspiels, the “Canadian, eh?” Joint Men’s/Ladies Bonspiel in February and our “Mad Hatter” Mixed Bonspiel in March. A great time was had at these events by both local teams and teams from 100 Mile and Quesnel.
Other Programs – The club also hosts Stick Curling, Juniors Lessons, School Lessons, and for the first time ever, a Drop-In Session. The Stick Curling, organized by Bill Rand, was so popular this year that it ran both Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Some curlers from the Stick Curling League also played in other leagues and participated in our annual bonspiels and fun nights …. fantastic! All lessons for Juniors, and the school program, are coordinated by Rick Miller. There were a total of 21 curlers registered in the 3 Junior programs (Lil’Rockets: 7 – 9yrs, Kidz Rock: 10 – 12yrs, Rockin’ Teens: Gr. 7 – 12) this year, up another 5 from last year and up 15 from 2 years ago. Is this an indicator that young people are returning to the sport of curling? Here’s hoping! Another highlight is that two members of the Teen group, Sydney and Braxton, came out on Saturday mornings to help coach the other Junior programs. Their help was greatly appreciated by the Junior members and the Head Coach!!!! The School Lessons were extremely popular again this year …. so popular that 4 schools were not able to get in as our slots filled up so quickly. The school programs are always a ton of fun to be involved in, but they wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for all the enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. Each lesson is 1.5 hours long and requires between 6 and 8 volunteers. This year we held 16 sessions, indicating that about 100 volunteer slots, or 150 hours of volunteer time, was needed …. and they came …. THANKS TO ALL VOLUNTEERS! See below for the Saturday Drop-In session info.
New This Year – First off was the fact that the club was almost exclusively run by volunteers this year …. amazing! Ken Hall, our new Manager, was the only paid employee, but even he was an avid volunteer, going well above and beyond the call of duty!
Our “Lounge Manager”, John Dryden, was another extremely busy volunteer bringing so many changes to the upstairs lounge. From the selection of refreshments offered, to the training and certifying of 10 new “Bartenders”, to the staffing/organizing of all the Christmas Parties, Bonspiels and other functions held at the club, and also volunteering in other areas at the club. Amazing job by both Ken and John!
For the first time we had an Executive Member, Kristi Denby, who dedicated her time to applying for grants to help the club in so many areas. She was successful in procuring funds for energy efficiencies in both the mechanical room and lighting for the club, in working towards the replacement of the inside walls with new insulation and proper cladding, as well as working on funding towards the installation of an elevator so that the club can become a venue that is totally inclusive for everyone to access all 3 levels …. the entrance, the ice surface, and the lounge. While it’s a large undertaking it is moving forward and the club is hopeful of having something started this year.
Also new this year were Saturday evening “Drop-In Curling” sessions. Drop-In Curling ran on every weekend that the club wasn’t already booked, from 7 – 10pm, and became very popular with both members and non-members. Some of the community members who came out to try curling at a Drop-In Session ended up staying and playing in a league or two. Awesome! It took a lot of volunteer time to man the rink area and the lounge and a huge “shout-out” goes to everyone who came down and did their part to make this new program such a huge success!
Doubles Curling has become really popular across Canada and this was the year that the Williams Lake Curling Club joined in this new, and exciting game. The club offered sessions to learn how to play Doubles, it encouraged members who wanted to play games to attend the Saturday Drop-In sessions (which some did and had a great time!!!), and, thanks to the efforts of Betty Dryden, we held our first ever Open Doubles Funspeil (Make that a Double-Double Please!). What a great day of curling, and fun, it was!!!! We know that this is definitely an area that needs to grow at our club and we’re looking for a time slot to host a league. Also, Betty is planning 2 Doubles Bonspiel next season, an Ice-Breaker Funspiel and a formal Open Doubles Bonspiel in the Spring. The enthusiasm is definitely there from the members!
Bonspiel Committee – Later in the year a “Bonspiel Committee” was formed and members from all leagues were invited to join this committee. About a dozen members (4 of the 5 leagues were represented), led by Lynn & Bruce Geier, hosted the last couple of Bonspiels this year. This was extremely successful and will be considered by the Executive as something to continue for the coming season. Thanks to everyone who was on this committee and did any small part to make our bonspiels such a success!
Highlights – Above and beyond all the great highlights mentioned above there was even more that happened this year. The Ice-Techs, under the watchful eye of the Head Ice Maker, Ken Kvist, grew from 3 to 5 people with Bruce Geier and Dave Jeanotte joining Bill Rand and Rick Miller in working to keep the ice and the rink in top-notch shape. We again, according to visitors from other communities and members who travelled to bonspiels, “had the best ice in central BC”. This is a real compliment to the Ice Makers, but it couldn’t happen without all the help from members who take so much care when entering the club, taking off outdoor shoes, cleaning their curling shoes & brooms, not lingering too long with body parts on the ice, and helping by sweeping and mopping after every game. It’s a real team effort, and the results are obvious and appreciated!
In order to help first time curlers, young and old, and also for seasoned veterans who were looking for a change, the club invested in a lot of ‘Step-on’ sliders, grippers of all sizes (and colours!), and delivery aides. We already had a large of brooms as well. Gone are the days of using duct tape for sliders, having new curlers struggle coming out of the hack with a broom, and having curlers fall because they don’t own grippers. The club actively pursued equipment that helped new curlers become immediately successful, in a much safer manner, as well as helping veterans change their deliveries using aides instead of brooms. The success of this new initiative, and equipment, was immediate and lasting …. great ideas!
Through the efforts of many club volunteers, and the initiative of the Ladies League (Donna Shiach – League Coordinator), the club hosted events such as “Fun Learn to Curl” events for women, a “Learn To Curl” week for everyone, Christmas Party Curling, and Drop-In Curling with lessons. It is estimated that club members introduced the skills and enjoyment of curling to over 200 adults and 300 kids this year. Groups included staff members from Retirement Concepts, Consus Management, Credit Union, and Cariboo Ski, as well as KidSport volunteers, the Young Professionals of Williams Lake, participants in the annual Canadian Mining Institute Bonspiel in early February, parents of school kids and Junior members, a group of Girl Guides, many community members who joined us for our Saturday Drop-In sessions, as well as all of the students in the School Lessons Program. One group had almost 50 adults and children and required 18 volunteers to come out on a Sunday afternoon …. and they did!!!! Incredible dedication to the potential growth of the curling club by its members! Again, THANKS TO ALL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS!
As the year comes to a close – It is important to recognize the dedicated group of volunteers that make up our Executive (click to view Exec. Members). The WLCC is so lucky to have close to 20 very skilled and dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to make the Curling Club the great place it is! This is a very diversified group of individuals including near equal representation of males/females as well as young/not so young members. The skill set of the Executive is so special because they come from all walks of life and bring with them something unique, and important, that they add to the group. Club members throughout the year have been very vocal in their recognition and thanks of what this group has accomplished, which has been greatly appreciated by the Executive Members!! This little recognition goes a long way to support this group …. maybe they will all continue the great work started this year again next year?! THANKS TO ALL EXECUTIVE MEMBERS!
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the “closing up” of the rink by the Ice-Techs has been put on the back-burner, but is progressing slowly. Once the constraints put on people by the medical authorites are lifted this will be completed as they start the work to prepare for summer groups and curling in September. Happy Summer to everyone …. See you in the Fall!
RECENT PAGE UPDATES
Home Page – April 1st
New Curlers – Ethics, Etiquette & Rules – April 8th
OTHER TYPES OF CURLING
STICK CURLING LEAGUE – This has become so popular that Stick Curling is now two days every week …. Mondays starting at 11am and Thursdays at 2pm. Bill Rand is the organizer and he asks that curlers arrive about 30 minutes early so that teams can be determined and equipment obtained. Everyone is invited upstairs afterwards for some great social time! For more info click here.
DROP-IN CURLING – This has become a very popular activity for family and friends on Saturday evenings from 7 – 10pm. Cost is only $10/person for non-members and members curl for free. The club supplies all equipment needed, including lessons, for beginners and people wishing to try out this amazing sport – all players have to wear is some warm/stretchy clothing and clean indoor runners to wear on the ice (please carry these in … no outdoor footwear allowed on the ice!). Come on down and join us when the season starts in October.
MANY VOLUNTEERS KEEP THINGS ROCK’N
Managing the lounge, making the ice, running many programs, doing the maintenance, hosting Christmas Parties (6 this year!) and serving on the executive …. all these things have something in common …… these are all done by club members who volunteer their time …. and what a great job all these people do!!! All members get to enjoy a fantastic facility, both on and off the ice, thanks to the many hours of volunteer time put in by fellow members. If you see people behind the bar, coaching school kids, making the ice, fixing things, hosting newcomers, and just taking care of things at the club, say THANKS! Without all of our volunteers we couldn’t have such a great club!!! Everyone is invited to help! Throughout the season there will be many more opportunities for members to step forward and help out in some little way that makes a big difference. Please consider giving a few hours of your time to help make our club the best it can be so we all continue to enjoy this great Canadian sport. Again, thanks to all you volunteers out there … all of your efforts are greatly appreciated!!!! The Curling Club is the place to be 6 days a week, thanks to you!
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you want more info, after thoroughly checking out our web page, you can follow us on FaceBook (Williams Lake Curling Club), email the club at email@example.com, or phone us at (250) 392-4636. Someone will get back to you promptly! Please remember to tell your friends about all of our great leagues and programs! Good curling …..
- April 28th – Executive Meeting @ 7pm via ZOOM.