The president of the Juan de Fuca Curling Association says she was shocked and baffled to find out the rink, which the club has used since 1975, will soon be replaced by dry floor. (Facebook/Juan de Fuca Curling Centre)

JDF curling association hopes to explore ways to keep curling rink open

Association sends letter to West Shore mayors, councils, West Shore Parks & recreation

The Juan de Fuca Curling Association is asking all mayors and councils on the West Shore as well as the West Shore Parks & Recreation board in the hopes that they can explore ways to keep the Juan de Fuca curling rink open.

“There was no consultation with the association or the club members in how its going to affect us as curlers with the closure of the club,” said Stephanie Cambrey, a director with the Juan de Fuca Curling Association. “There needs to be open communication, this is a taxpayer funded facility and they’re just shutting the doors.”

Last week, the West Shore Parks & Recreation board announced its decision to close the curling rink that has been used since 1975. The board plans to replace it with dry floor space, something that will be a better value for taxpayer money according to Jonathan Huggett, a project consultant for West Shore Parks & Recreation.

READ MORE: Replacing Juan de Fuca curling rink with dry floor a good move for taxpayers, says West Shore Parks & Recreation

The curling association found out about the closure shortly after it finished hosting the Under 18 Provincial Curling Championships.

“We were asked by the teams, the actual players, to run the championship again next year and that is a huge compliment to us,” Cambrey said. “We would love to run events like that every year…we have the people and commitment in order to build the name back for our club.”

Cambrey said the curling club has coaches who have been in the Olympics, kids as young as eight years old who are just getting into the sport and some players in their 90s.

“What sport out there allows you to play from such a young age to such an elderly age?” Cambrey said.

Cambrey also noted that it is the only curling rink that offers eight sheets of ice in the Western Communities. The rink shutdown would bring the availability of ice from 22 to 14 sheets in the Greater Victoria area.

Huggett said curlers will still be able to use other rinks in the area, but Cambrey noted that for youths or seniors who can’t drive, getting to other rinks is very difficult. Huggett also noted that curling is declining in popularity but Cambrey disagrees. Cambrey said curling is one of the fastest-growing sports out there.

“They’re saying that it’s a dying sport,” Cambrey said. “But that’s not the case. It’s popular all over the world.”

Cambrey said the association has run into issues when it comes to ice maintenance by West Shore Parks & Recreation. She said the lack of maintenance is turning curlers away from the rink, but with proper care, more curlers would come back.

READ MORE: Juan de Fuca Curlers ‘reeling’ after learning rink will be replaced with dry floor

According to Cambrey, curlers have the option of paying $87 to book a two-hour time slot or they can use free practice ice on Sundays that is unprepared. She said most curlers only want to practice for about 30 minutes, so they use the unprepared ice that makes curling very difficult.

“In order to keep membership, in order to grow the sport, you have to have good ice,” Cambrey said. “And we’ve had a blind eye turned to us. They’ve ignored our concerns.”

Cambrey said the facility is making it difficult for the club to keep membership because of poor maintenance.

The letter sent to the municipalities and board says the current process of renting ice has West Shore Parks & Recreation staff creating new contracts on an individual basis for every league and sheet of ice.

The curling association is proposing to rent the facility from West Shore Parks & Recreation for agreed upon dates from September to March each year. The association “would be responsible for creating and maintaining the ice surface, booking all leagues, school events, practice ice, bonspiels, etc.”

“Our association believes there are feasible options that do not include a complete shut down,” the letter reads. “We hope you will be open to working with us on this going forward.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Experts suggest Esquimalt explores hub-and-spoke medical clinic model

Dr. Eileen Pepler says Esquimalt is in a ‘dire’ situation for medical care accessibility

‘Preliminary’ discussions with Saanich identify public works yard as potential velodrome site

Greater Victoria Velodrome Association’s David Atwell says site ‘is of great interest to us’

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps appointed to BC Transit board of directors

Helps joins six other board members, four of which are locally elected officials

Unveiling of Greater Victoria bus-tracking app delayed

NextRide won’t be coming to Greater Victoria until July

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria receives $2.8M Anthony Thorn donation

Victoria News article inspires hefty donation for gallery expansion

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

Island man guilty of child porn charges, Crown alleges 250,000 images

Psychiatric assessment requested by Crown, sentencing to be set June 4 in Nanaimo court

Most Read