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More options on tap for curlers this season

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If you know someone who always has wanted to learn how to curl, or you have a new curler on your team, this is what they have been waiting for.

The Fort Frances Curling Club is launching an “Adult Learn To Curl” program that will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. this fall.

The program is one of three new options the curling club will be offering this year.

Running from Oct. 14-Dec. 2 and led by Charlotte Bazylewski, it aims to help adult curlers to learn the sport and feel comfortable out on the ice.

“We want adult curlers comfortable on the ice,” explained club member Christine Denby.

"You become accountable to your teammates for your weekly game.

“It's not necessarily skills based but comfort level,” she reiterated, adding it's definitely a health benefit to get out and curl.

“It's also a great sport that isn't expensive to get into,” Denby continued.

“The equipment [shoes and broom] last a long time [and] the clothing is simple—stretchy, comfortable layers.”

The cost for the program is $60 for those who have curling shoes or $90 for those who don't (the club will provide grippers).

Brooms and sliders also will be provided by the club.

The local curling club also will be starting a mixed doubles league that will run for six weeks starting Nov. 2.

It will take place Wednesdays starting at 5:30 p.m., with the cost being $50 a person.

“It's a trial thing," said club president Ron Silver. ”We're going to try it out to see how it works here.

“They're only going to be six-end games [instead of eight]," noted Silver, adding mixed doubles is a "fairly fast-paced game” because you only throw five rocks per team per end.

“We'll see from there where it goes," he added. ”If there's a lot more interest, we'll definitely roll it through to the new year.

“We just thought with a trial thing like this, we didn't want people to have to commit for the whole entire year without seeing how they liked it or how they didn't like it,” Silver reasoned.

“We'll just give it a six-week window, see if we can generate some interest, and then take it from there.”

Silver also noted mixed doubles is a growing sport, especially now that it is part of the Winter Olympics.

“Hopefully it'll catch hold here,” he remarked.

With the local club having six sheets of ice, Silver said they can accept up to 12 mixed doubles teams this season.

“Hopefully this is something that can be a full-season league moving forward,” he reiterated.

Also new to the club this season will be a Friday night “Social League” starting at 7 p.m. in place of the former mixed league.

Starting on Nov. 7 and running through Dec. 12, it will cost $50/person.

“It used to be a mixed league but we changed the name to 'Social League' because you don't have to have two males and females on your team to do it,” Silver explained.

“It is a [regular] league so it's not a drop-in league,” he stressed.

“You do have to register but, again, we're only offering it for short periods of time,” he added.

“So hopefully people will sign up for six weeks, try it out and if you like it, we'll probably run it again after Christmas.”

Silver said that when they ran the mixed league before, the club was finding it difficult to get enough teams to commit for the whole season, especially with it being on Friday nights.

“A lot of couples don't want to have to tie up their Friday nights all winter long,” he reasoned.

"So we scaled it back a little bit and [made] it more fun.

“It's definitely not a competitive league, Silver stressed. ”This is about fun.

There's people out there that don't know how to play, some people that do, but the ones that are there will teach you."

In related news, the curling club will hold a registration night next Wednesday (Sept. 12) at 6:30 p.m. for those interested in any of its programs and leagues for the 2018-19 season.

For any other information, call 274-6667 or visit the club's website at www.fortfrancescurlingclub.ca

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