Curling clubs in Alexandria and Alexandria are working towards the launch of their respective 2020-21 seasons as soon as possible, with both currently registering members new and returning.
The Alexandria Curling Club is aiming for a November 9 season start, with a number of adjustments. There will be no gender-based leagues, at least for now, and the industrial league won’t play this year. As well, a raft of COVID-19 health and safety protocols are in place, details of which can be viewed via this link.
Maxville’s Glengarry Curling Club previously announced that it would not be open this fall, setting early January for a potential season start.
The Lancaster Curling Club had hoped to open in October, providing that sufficient members registered. That target was not met, so the club’s executive has deferred opening until January, seeking to boost its membership numbers by then. See this earlier story for more details.
The Lancaster and District Curling Club had hoped to open a modified season this month, but that was contingent on sufficient full-time members signing up. That didn’t happen, so the club’s executive has decided to delay the start of the season until January in hopes that membership numbers increase.
In light of operating costs, the Lancaster club needed “at a minimum, 80 full-time memberships committed and paid” by the set deadline of October 15.
“Thank you to all who have responded to our call but unfortunately there were insufficient memberships by the deadline and after reviewing the income/expense data, and considering the rising COVID cases the season will not begin as planned.”
In addition to a modified curling season, Lancaster is aiming to resume its Learn to Curl program in January.
Club president James Doonan notes, “By shortening the curling season, we will be better able to control losses. As well, during this period, we will review and update the control measures for COVID previously communicated.” For more on the changes to curling this season, please see this previous post.
“The club is committed to having play this season so long as authorities allow. We are aware that it is a major social aspect of many people’s lives in the winter months and we hope to provide a welcoming and above all safe experience for everyone.”
James Doonan, club president
Full refunds and/or pro-rated refunds are (and will be) available.
Local curling clubs are working towards reopening this fall or winter in a challenging environment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lancaster and District Curling Club set a goal of 80 full-time paid members registered by October 15. Club president James Doonan made the announcement to members via e-mail, with a post added to the LDCC Facebook page.
“The Board of the Lancaster District Curling Club has decided on a path forward for this season; our decision was made after reviewing the [member] survey results, the recommendations of the COVID committee, recommendations from the various curling associations at the federal and provincial level, and, finally, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.”
The number of 80 full memberships was determined to offset start-up, ice installation, and operational costs at the club.
Should things get underway, a number of strict rules will be enacted to govern usage of the facility and game play.
Masks will be required in all common areas such as the bar, washrooms, entry. Masks will not be mandatory on the ice once play has started but are encouraged throughout.
The bar will be limited to 1 or 2 post-game drinks. Players must leave before the following game finishes as only two teams will be allowed upstairs at any one time. Masks are not required while drinking/eating.
All equipment must be sanitized when you arrive at the club.
Only players scheduled for a game on any given evening will be allowed in the club and only during the time approximately 15 minutes before the game.
Every player will be required to sign in when they play and be subject to this information being shared with government authorities should they have to perform a contact trace exercise.
We will no longer store equipment at the club. Brooms, shoes, slider/grippers, stabilizers, sticks will need to be taken home. The club is working on a plan to have low-cost purchase or rental units available for sticks and stabilizers.
The Timbits and Junior programs run on the weekends will be suspended until further notice.
The county’s junior ‘B’ hockey clubs, traditional rivals on the ice, have joined forces for a golf tournament, to be held September 12, at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club.
The ‘Battle of Glengarry’ on the links is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. through noon. Entry of $100 per player includes golf, use of a cart, and lunch. Registration is available online here.
The event is open to players, alumni, and supporters. I am told that organizers are aiming to field 13 foursomes, with scoring combined in some way to highlight the Glens-versus-Rebels friendly rivalry.
Char-Lan Rebels training camp
The 2020 Rebels training camp will be held in early September, with date/location yet to be confirmed. Head coach and general manager Jeff Carter invites prospective players aged 16 through 20 to contact him at email@example.com or 613-360-0711.
Alexandria Glens camp, announcer
Training camp for the Alexandria Glens is scheduled to be held in Alexandria, beginning Friday, September 18. Prospects for the 52nd annual edition of the Glens are asked to register online in advance.
In other team news, the Glens have announced the addition of a play-by-play commentator for the team’s home broadcasts via the Hockey TV platform. Liam Arkinson joins the organization in this capacity, having formerly served in this role with the Ottawa West Golden Knights.
Will you feel comfortable participating in curling this season? That is part of what executive members of the Lancaster and District Curling Club are trying to learn from the general membership, as planning continues towards potential re-opening this fall.
Last season came to a crashing halt in mid-May, when health authorities issued directives to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not much has changed in terms of risk since then, but the provincial government and local health authorities have gradually reduced restrictions, allowing sports and recreation groups to begin preparing for a return to play.
The Lancaster and District Curling Club conducted its 2020 annual general meeting remotely this year, in June, at which the new slate of executive directors was confirmed.
As part of the group’s work, plans are being explored for the 2020-21 season, including a survey of members.
Among the questions asked, the board wants to know, “If authorities allow sports to reopen in the fall, do you plan on curling with us this year?”
Should the club re-open for play, a number of health-related changes are being considered:
In an effort to spread out games, the club is looking at having league games extend through the weekend.
Members are also being asked, “Do you think it is reasonable to ask curlers to help wipe down the rocks, brooms, and door handles before each game?”
For individuals uncomfortable curling this year, the Lancaster executive asks if they will return once there “is a vaccine / effective treatment.”
Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
Indoor facility ventilation systems should be both operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within.
Designate a responsible person to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines are followed.
Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as seniors, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
Remove unnecessary communal items such as candy, magazines, and complimentary phone chargers. Where disposable water cups are provided, place a garbage receptacle close by for any used cups.
Communicate to all participants (coaches/staff, instructors, officials, participants, and their guardians, volunteers) about the risk of COVID-19 and practices that should be undertaken to mitigate risk.
The guidelines go further, specifically detailing rules for screening, prevention, and outbreak management; mandatory mask use indoors; entrance signage; capacity and scheduling requirements to maintain physically distancing; cleaning and disinfection; locker rooms; participants and spectators; equipment; and food and drink.
The EOHU document states, “Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players, or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.” It also suggests, “participants should be encouraged to bring their own equipment.” Any shared equipment must be “cleaned and sanitized between users.” The EOHU also recommends that organizations develop a publicly-available written plan.
Coleman MacDonald, a long-time member of the Lancaster and District Curling Club, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 15.
The 85-year-old Williamstown resident was predeceased by his wife Joan P. The couple were active at the curling club. Among their contributions over the years, they established the Glengarry Cup, an annual curling challenge with rinks from each of the county’s clubs competing in a friendly rivalry for county curling supremacy.
“Coleman was born at home, on the family farm – one of the few remaining bi-centennial farms in Glengarry. He milked cows with his brother, Mickey, until 2002, and continued to work the land until his passing. Coleman is known for having some of the best yielding crops in the area and was among the first to plant soybeans. Coleman made a lasting impression on those in the agricultural world, especially the young people who worked on the farm. Although he died at the house next to the farm where he was raised, Coleman was fortunate to have travelled throughout his life. He had a passion for curling and took every opportunity to sing its praises to those unfamiliar to the game. For this, he was inducted to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud to tell others of his Scottish heritage and his Glengarry roots. He will be remembered for the sparkle in his eye, the stories and jokes he told, and for his ability to make people smile.”
Mr. MacDonald was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 when he was recognized for his 52nd consecutive season of curling.
In his induction biography, Coleman was recognized for his numerous accomplishments in curling: receiving the 40-year pin (in 2012) for participation in the Moose Bonspiel hosted annually by the Alexandria Curling Club where he won all-star skip in 1986, receiving the 20-year pin for participation in the Monctonian Bonspiel which at its peak hosted over 70 teams from eastern Canada and the United States, skipping his Lancaster team at the prestigious Lord Elgin Bonspiel in Montreal a spiel that once hosted over 80 teams, and winning the 11th Annual Moose Bonspiel in 1975 playing third.
Over the years, he also won numerous awards and trophies at various local clubs, including those in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg, and Morrisburg.
In 1997, the Lancaster and District Curling Club granted Mr. MacDonald a lifetime membership, in recognition to his contribution, which included 29 years serving on the executive board.
In his hall of fame induction, Coleman was described as a “popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Coleman MacDonald’s life has been postponed, to be held at some point in the future. A mass of Christian burial was scheduled yesterday, for family and close friends, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Williamstown.
Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Friends of the Ruins, The Bishop’s House St. Raphael’s, or to the Lancaster Curling Club would be appreciated by the family.
A rink of ladies from the Lancaster Curling club won two games in Dundas County but fell just short, on points, of claiming the title at the Morrisburg Ladies Invitational.
Patti McLeod, Cheryl Lariviere, Heather Marsh, and Colleen MacCulloch totalled 16 points, finishing second in the final standings behind Navan, which had 19. The Lancaster ladies won the “team curling pong” 50/50.
On November 22 and 23, the Lancaster Curling Club hosted a charity bonspiel that raised funds for Hospice Cornwall. Some 64 curlers took part in the action on the ice that ran Friday evening and through the day Saturday. There was also a silent auction.