Rhett Hildebrandt throws a rock during league play at the Cloverdale Curling Club. Hildebrandt has been curling in Cloverdale for 13 years. (Photo: submitted)

Curling is a game for the all ages

Cloverdale Curling Club has been in operation for more than 40 years

By Joe Strain

Curling is an stimulating game of strategy and shot making for people of all ages who want some exercise and safe, fun socialization.

The Cloverdale Curling Club has been in operation at its current location more than 40 years. Their curlers span a wide age range from pre-teen to 80-plus years. In previous years the Club has hosted a number of provincial and national events including the BC Wheelchair Curling Championship and a variety of local tournaments (bonspiels).

Curling is traditionally a game of etiquette and socializing. The on ice part of the game typically starts and ends with a handshake. After the game, teams often go upstairs to the lounge to socialize and replay parts of the game over a beverage or two.

The objective of curling is to push (deliver) an 18.5 kilogram smooth granite rock so that it slides approximately 45 meters down a sheet of ice and stops in a circle (called the “house”), which is roughly 3.6 meters in diameter.

If your opponent already has a rock in the house, you might push your rock hard enough to travel the length of ice, knock out your opponent’s rock and have your rock stay in the house. Sounds easy, right?

If you are not delivering the rock, you are expected to sweep the ice in front of the speeding rock to make sure there is no debris that could be caught and deflect the rock. You may also need to sweep to make the rock travel farther or run straighter. Watch the rock, check speed, listen to the person in the house calling the game, and make sure you don’t trip over your own feet.

To enjoy a fair level of competition, the Cloverdale Curling Club offers a variety of leagues to appeal to all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. There are daytime and evening leagues operating throughout the week.

There are sessions for pre-teen and teenage curlers, which includes instructions from certified coaches. There are seniors leagues throughout the week days. The teams for all senior leagues are drawn from a hat to increase camaraderie and provide even competition.

Curling practices started again on Sept. 20 and league play starts Oct. 1. The Cloverdale Curling Club hosts several events, including drop-in to curl sessions, from time to time.

If anyone is interested in curling or would like more information, visit cloverdalecurlingclub.ca, or call 604-574-4483.

Joe Strain is the president of the Cloverdale Curling Club.

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