O’Leary curling club broadening its audience with Jan. 7 Open House, and 10-week introduction for newcomers (Journal)

Note: The Open House was originally scheduled for Dec. 17 but was postponed to Jan. 7 due to weather.
(by Eric McCarthy)

O’LEARY, P.E.I. – Among a group of newcomers to P.E.I. who visited Maple Leaf Curling Club recently, only Ruby Lubigan admitted having any previous knowledge of the game of curling.

“I watch it on television,” she said.

Watching as Ruby Lubigan tries delivering a curling stone for the first time are, from left, O’Leary town councillor and curler Judy MacIsaac, newcomers Lorena Pamintuan, Yhols Urayan, Geraldine Tupal, Cleo Escopin, West Prince Chamber of Commerce executive director Tammy Rix, newcomer Noraflor Danao and Maple Leaf Curling Club manager Paul Strang. The curling club is hosting a Curling Open House for Newcomers Monday at 7 pm. – Eric McCarthy

Even with that limited knowledge of the game, getting out on the ice was a whole new experience. Out on Ice Four, in the company of Filipino friends, the new Canadian citizen got her first opportunity to deliver and sweep curling stones.

The experience was a pre-introduction of sorts to an Open House the curling club is throwing for newcomers. That event will be held at the club Monday, Jan. 7 (revised date) at 7 p.m., and will include on-ice curling instruction, social interaction and refreshments

Curling club manager Paul Strang said there is a large group of newcomers working at local fish plants and with other employers. The curling club has been reaching out to them. He points out the invitation is open to all newcomers, including people who have retired to the area. He’s keen to introduce the sport to a wider audience.

The Open House, he said, is an introduction to a 10-week program the club will be hosting for all newcomers interested in learning the game. As with the open house, the subsequent weeks will include refreshments and opportunity to socialize.

Go! West, the O’Leary Community Sports Centre and area recreation directors are invited to the open house to introduce newcomers to other recreational opportunities available in the area.

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