By Jeff Gard/jgsportsmedia.com
There will be curling in Cobourg for the upcoming 2020-2021 season.
Online registration is now open for the variety of leagues and programs the West Northumberland Curling Club has to offer.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, a video was filmed at the club on Furnace Street in Cobourg “to let current and any prospective members know that curling is going to happen this year,” said WNCC board member Ian Young, noting that safety is the top priority based on “the information that we can get from all the health departments and from the Ontario Curling Association.”
The video, which will be released soon, will highlight changes at the club and note safety protocols that have been put in place.
There will be no locker room access this season so curlers will be asked to carry their equipment with them and go to the rink prepared to curl.
Rocks will be sanitized and curlers will only be touching their own two rocks during a game. Only one person will be sweeping to avoid curlers side-by-side and the two skips won’t be close together around the house area.
There will be specific spots for the players to stand when not delivering rocks and the markings will be on the ice
“All these markings are being provided to all of the curling clubs by the Ontario Curling Association,” Young said.
Games will have time limits to ensure players are off the ice before the next teams arrive.
The upstairs bar will be open with limits of four people to a table. The club will use disposable cups and individual snacks will be available. While curlers often buy drinks for friends, this year everyone will have to buy their own (unless with a spouse) and are encouraged to pay with debit or Mastercard.
A full return to play document, COVID Standard Operating Procedures 2020, is available at http://www.wncc.ca. That’s where you can also find a list of leagues and programs to register for.
League play is set to begin Nov. 2 with opportunities for curlers of all skill levels and interests. Competitive play is available as well as instructional, novice and social.
No experience? No problem.
The WNCC’s Learn to Curl program will begin Nov. 8. The cost is $99 and includes six lessons and two safety grippers. $85 of that fee will also be applied to the cost of a full-year league should you decide to join the club.
There is also a junior league available for youth aged 8-18.
Meanwhile, last year stick curling, known as Sturling, was introduced at the WNCC. Teams are comprised of two players with one acting as skip and the other delivering the rocks. There is no sweeping between the hog lines and games usually take a little over an hour to complete.
“Some people can’t sweep anymore, that’s just a fact of life either for physical issues or just that they’re getting older,” Young said. “The invention of the stick in stick curling has kept people in the game for years and years after. It’s not just the game itself, it’s the social aspect.”
Among other changes, this year the pro shop will be run by the WNCC.
“It’s going to be run by volunteers and all of the proceeds from the pro shop will go directly to our club,” Young said.
To watch for the video to be posted and follow other announcements, check out the West Northumberland Curling Club on social media: Facebook @wncc.curling, Twitter @wncc_curling and Instagram @wncc_curling.