Curlers look­ing for home and more ice-time

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Curlers through­out Auck­land have been search­ing for a place to call home for more than a decade.

And now they’re be­gin­ning to see the light at the end of the tun­nel.

Auck­land Curl­ing was given more than $20,000 from the coun­cil to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study along­side other ice sports to see whether a cen­tre could be built on the North Shore.

Mt Eden curler Tessa Far­ley says a new rink would be life-chang­ing.

The 20-year-old usu­ally trav­els to the South Is­land ev­ery sum­mer to prac­tice.

The Auck­land club, which op­er­ates out of Paradice ice rink in Avon­dale, is the North Is­land’s only curl­ing club and ice-time is in de­mand.

Far­ley says the fa­cil­ity is so packed Auck­land curlers only get a four-hour slot on Sun­day nights to com­pete.

She started play­ing at Ep­som Girls Gram­mar about eight years ago and has been in the New Zealand un­der-21 and open teams since 2011.

‘‘You can see why so many peo­ple are pick­ing the sport up – it’s so­cial and fun.

‘‘We just never have the big comps here. It’s such a shame but we just don’t have the fa­cil­i­ties.’’

Auck­land Curl­ing held a mem­ber­ship drive a cou­ple of years ago and the re­sponse was so en­thu­si­as­tic they had to start turn­ing away teams, she says.

A new rink would mean any­one in­ter­ested could take part and there would be more peo­ple to play against, she says.

Proper curl­ing ice is colder and harder than that used for other ice sports and it has to be com­pletely level. At the mo­ment play­ers are pay­ing high fees for rent­ing the joint fa­cil­ity which makes the sport ex­pen­sive, she says.

Far­ley’s team-mate Eleanor Ad­viento says the sport is solely run by vol­un­teers.

The Birken­head 18-yearold has high hopes of be­com­ing an Olympic curler one day and new fa­cil­i­ties would help her on the way, she says.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple do it be­cause of the com­mu­nity feel. It’s a huge com­mu­nity and ev­ery­one pitches in.’’

Curl­ing is the ‘‘or­phan’’ of ice sports, Auck­land Curl­ing Club pres­i­dent Ian Ford says.

Ex­pand­ing the ice fa­cil­i­ties in Auck­land is a must, he says.

‘‘Paradice do a good job with their ex­ist­ing rinks but there’s just nowhere near enough ice time avail­able for a city of 1.4 mil­lion.’’

Photo: LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click lat­est edi­tion to see a video about curl­ing. Fast friends: Eleanor Ad­viento and Tessa Far­ley say a new curl­ing rink would help them up their game.

Ac­tion shot: Curlers are still search­ing for proper fa­cil­i­ties in Auck­land.

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