The sport of curling is living and thriving in Castlegar says Paul Phipps, President of the Castlegar Retirees Curling Club.
The Retirees’ Club, along with various other clubs, have raised the grand total number of curlers to over 250, which is a significant rise from previous years.
Phipps said, “It’s our best year yet.”
The Castlegar and District Curling Club is located on Columbia Avenue alongside the Pioneer Arena and is open to anyone of any age to come and give curling a shot.
“Anyone in the community is welcome, regardless of age,” Phipps said, “For those of us that are up there in years, stick curling is okay too.”
Phipps doesn’t want elderly citizens to feel like they can’t come down and curl just because they may have hip or joint problems.
Stick curling is the same as regular curling only you can stand and use a stick as an extension to move the rock along.
Phipps mentioned it was for those who can’t quite get down all the way, but one facetious member quickly corrected him, “It’s not getting down that’s the problem, it’s getting back up that worries me.”
The Curling Club offers many leagues, teams and times for community members to come down and play a few rounds on the sheets. Men’s league plays on Mondays and Wednesdays, women on Thursday and Mixed on Fridays.
A fun, instructional league is held on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During this time Phipps gives lessons and tips to newcomers and he welcomes anyone to come down as it’s the best way to experience curling. At the low cost of $5 many expressed it’s well worth the money.
Manager/ice technician, Bob Maloff is very happy with the turnout this year and hopes to see even more residents showing up in the coming months.
“We have an environment here built on participation and sportsmanship,” he said.
Maloff explained that the clubs’ main focus is on having fun and although there is a sense of competition there isn’t a strong emphasis on it.
Additionally, when Phipps said all ages were welcome he wasn’t excluding the younger generations.
Kids leagues are also present at the club and with the help of coach Terry Cook, those leagues have been growing as of late. This year the amount of kids has shot up from 10-15 to 20-25.
For more information on joining the Curling Club, those interested should stop by the arena or give them a call at (250) 365-6666.