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South River Curling Club Inc
The President’s Message
Welcome to the South River Curling Club, the club built by the people for the people. And as of Fall 2012, a proud member of NOCA (Northern Ontario Curling Association).
You will read elsewhere about our history and some of our activities but I want to invite you to come and visit us. When people ask “where is South River?” I always say halfway between Huntsville and North Bay, where the air is clean and the night sky is the bluest you will ever see. At the only traffic light go west for one block turn left and there we are nestled right next to the arena. We are at 1B Lincoln Avenue and our number is 705 386-2966. The rental coordinator is at 705 386-7136 if you want to arrange ice and lounge time for your friends and family as part of your winter getaway. All you will need will be clean shoes and warm clothes, we will supply the rest for a great curling experience in South River.
We have been making improvements to our club and are proud of it. Come and see why.
The improvements that we have achieved over the past several years started with the hard work of our dedicated members to fund raise in several different forms. These funds have enabled us to look positively to the future. Some of these funds, when used as seed money have enabled us to attract grants from several agencies. In the past year:
- a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation plus our contribution has enabled us to replace the aging steel roof over the ice surface. This not only eliminated leaks but will provide protection for many years in the future.
- our own seed money coupled with a grant from New Horizons has facilitated the addition of major appliances and equipment in the kitchen that meet code and enable us to better serve the public and our members; the addition of audio-visual equipment, tables and chairs has increased our capability to hold meetings and open the club up to the viewing of major sporting events in a social setting.
- a new resurfacing scraper has been purchased funded in part by a generous grant from Hydro One. This has permitted us to continue to provide the excellent ice that curlers want and expect. A recent experienced guest commented that it was some of the best ice he had ever played on.
- to support our efforts to introduce local school children to curling through the Rocks and Rings and little rocks program we received a welcome grant for Canada Post and donations from a local council and a festival proceeds. The appropriate equipment we were able purchase and ice time is reflected in the enthusiasm of the young participants. It is very important to the recreational programs in this rural area.
We continue to look for grant opportunities to assist in enhancing the facilities and the product that we offer to our members and our community.
The South River Curling Club was built in 1953. It was the first stand-alone curling club (member owned and operated) in the Almaguin Highlands. Teams from Burk's Falls, Magnetawan, Sundridge, Trout Creek and Powassan gathered here to curl. Those were the days when curlers brought their own rocks to the game and the games were 10 ends.
Over the years things have changed. At least one club has its own ice surface and others have tried to use the ice in their hockey arena for once a week curling and periodic bonspiels. Others are still without a Curling Club, their curlers taking up membership in the closest club, which happens to be the South River Curling Club, still the only stand-alone curling club in the Almaguin Highlands. Still the central club of the Almaguin Highlands.
As well as these curlers South River Curling Club hosts and teaches Community Living clients, Grade 5 classes from MA Whittick Public-School in Burk's Falls, and Physical Education classes from Almaguin Highlands Secondary School. At one point in our history we had a solid junior curling program that we hope to rejuvenate in the near future. Even now we are reaping the benefits of the junior program as some of those who have stayed in the area are curling here once again. and this past fall we instituted the "Rocks and Rings" program into our nearby schools, with great success. And an "open House" over the Christmas holidays (2012) brought in 8 to 10 children and their parents to try out curling on ice.
We have a certified Curling Coach who gets a great deal of pleasure from coaching the Community Living clients and Grade 5 classes. Our interaction with the Community Living clients reminds us of how much fun curling can be. Our work with the Grade 5 classes instills in us hope for the future, not only for our club but for curling itself. Our Coach also runs an introductory/refresher curling clinic at the beginning of each curling season when those trying curling for the first time and those needing a ‘tune-up’ come out for a review of the fundamentals.
Our curling club membership (2012/2013) consists of 103 members, 79 of them seniors (77%). The use of a cue (the ‘stick’) has enabled many of our seniors to continue to curl in spite of aching knees and backs. According to health specialists curling and playing bridge are the two sports most beneficial to combat aging. (body and mind.) With South River being the next "cottage country" we have many retirees moving here who find the curling club a great place to acquaint themselves with the community, to find new friends, and to exercise.
Monday night is mixed curling. Tuesday morning is Ladies League. Tuesday night is competitive curling. All day Thursday is senior curling and Friday evenings are often fun nights. At our fun times brand-new curlers get to try out the game, enjoy a potluck supper , talk with the members and have a lot of fun. Our fun nights are often inter-generational. It's a time when families come to try the game together.
As a club we participate in the goings-on of the community (i.e. Winterfest). Bonspiels are an integral part of our club's life. We host club bonspiels, Invitational bonspiels, and Interclub bonspiels. Many organizations (i.e. Lions) rent our facilities and host their own bonspiels . The South River Curling Club, once again, is central to our community and the Almaguin Highlands.