By Ian Jacques -Coast Reporter

The Gibsons Curling Club is gearing up to rock the house for another season.

Last Friday night, Oct. 5, club members met for their annual general meeting and held a drop-in open house where people could learn about the game and the programs and leagues being offered this year.

Club members are excited for the new season and are hoping to get more people interested in the game.

New to the Coast and the club is facility co-ordinator Norm Card who replaces out-going ice maker Owen Hayward who has taken a job at the Marpole Curling Club in Richmond.

Card started his ice career in Ontario on hockey ice at the age of 30. He started working on curling ice four years later and operated and managed the Sutton Curling Club. In 1991 he moved to Penticton as ice technician and operator of the Penticton Curling Club. He has trained numerous ice makers throughout the Okanagan Valley. With his two boys grown up, Card said he was looking for a “new adventure.” An avid hockey player, tennis pro and water enthusiast, Card said the Sunshine Coast had everything he was looking for. He moved to the Coast on Sept. 20.

“I’m a small town guy, so my interests and everything that this community offers was what I was looking for,” he said. “I’ve only been here for two weeks, but already I’ve settled into a nice routine. The community has been very warm and welcoming.”

Card said he is happy with the direction the club’s board of directors is taking this year, encouraging new players and club growth.

“The board seems very pro-active and keen. You can really see and feel a club environment,” Card said. “The philosophy that I try to promote is this has to be a social club first and foremost. You come to curl and compete, and you enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow curlers in the lounge afterwards. On league nights I want to see all the curlers come up here and the winning team buying the losing team a drink. We have to promote the social aspect of the game. That’s what curling is all about — the social aspect. I think that is an area that is lacking here and we aim to change that.”

League play is slated to start this Tuesday, Oct. 13, with women’s night at 7 p.m. Wednesday night is mixed curling at 7 p.m. with men’s on Thursday at 7 p.m. Monday is competitive mixed/men’s/women’s at 7 p.m. and starts Oct. 19. During the day on Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. is senior men’s with open mixed Thursdays at noon. Saturday is reserved for bonspiels, drop-in curling and Special Olympics in the afternoon.

The big night the club is promoting is its Friday fun mixed league.

“You don’t have to be a curler to have some fun Friday night,” said Card. “We want this to be a fun night out with your friends. We’ll have some lessons and clinics at the start every night and then some games. Our members will be on hand to help out. Again, this night really goes back to my philosophy of having the social aspect and having some fun.”

For more information about league play or registration, contact the club at 604-886-7512 or on-line at www.gibsonscurling

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