Out with the old and in with the new

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - Karen Sotvedt is a mem­ber of the Mid­dle­ton Curl­ing Club.

It’s the new year and out with the old and in with the new at Mid­dle­ton Curl­ing Club. New ice, that it.

The ice­mak­ers, headed by Ernie Killen, use the week be­tween Christ­mas and New Year’s ev­ery sea­son to re­move lay­ers of ice that have been used for two months, and with it the as­sorted im­pu­ri­ties, and bits of fluff and lint that ac­cu­mu­lates.

Then there is a flood of new wa­ter in sev­eral lay­ers, more scrap­ing, more wa­ter, and more scrap­ing. It is a pretty labour-in­ten­sive job and takes sev­eral full days but in the end, we have what is es­sen­tially com­pletely fresh ice to start the new year.

They also give the rocks a quick grind and smooth to re­move any ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the curl­ing sur­faces that may af­fect how the rock trav­els in play. With two bon­spiels be­ing hosted at the club in Jan­uary, the ice mak­ers are care­ful to be sure the ice is in tip-top con­di­tion.

The Learn to Curl group had their last ses­sion and those in­ter­ested in con­tin­u­ing in curl­ing will be tran­si­tioned into league play. It is great to see the club grow this way, and youth co-or­di­na­tor Dawn Spi­dle re­ports the stu­dent pro­grams are also grow­ing, with new mem­bers in both Lit­tle Rocks and Ju­niors this month.

Her curlers are pre­par­ing for the Earl McKin­non Clas­sic at Glooscap Curl­ing Club in Kentville – they will be send­ing four teams. MCC teams did well last year against teams from all over the Val­ley, and the young curlers are tak­ing ex­tra prac­tices this year, hop­ing to do even bet­ter. The truth is that some of these stu­dents play in the fun­spiels and the West­ern Draw against the adult curlers and of­ten end up win­ning the draw, so they are the curlers to watch in the fu­ture!

Next week, Jan. 12 and 13, is the Jan­uary Thaw, the an­nual mixed bon­spiel that’s in its 35th year. Twelve teams from around the Val­ley, in­clud­ing four club teams, play two very full days of curl­ing, with the top-seeded clubs on the sec­ond day play­ing a fifth game for the win­ning po­si­tion in each event.

Five games in two days is a lot of curl­ing, but this is a ded­i­cated crew who show the best of the game – love of the sport, fun on the ice, com­pe­ti­tion with good sports­man­ship, and lots of so­cia­bil­ity af­ter­wards. The club will be open and spec­ta­tors are wel­come at any time on Saturday and Sunday, Jan 12 and 13.

More news at www. mid­dle­ton­curling­club.com

Karen Sotvedt Throw­ing rocks

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