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RR curling rink to remain open

By Ken Johnston

The sound of people yelling “Sweep! Hurray Hard!” will echo through the community of Rainy River after all this winter.
Thanks to an outpouring of people signing up for curling and financial assistance from the Town of Rainy River, the Rainy River Curling Club will keep its doors open this year, despite fears to the contrary just a few weeks ago.
On October 17th the club held a public meeting to discuss the financial hardships it was facing, noting that declining membership and rising operating costs could force the club to close. At that meeting they decided to hold a registration party on Oct. 24th. It was gauged to be a success with more than 60 curlers signing up that night and many more since.
In the meantime the Rainy River Town Council passed a motion to give the club some breathing room financially by offering them $3,450 in cash to help with operating costs.
Last week the club’s executive met and decided to move ahead with the curling season. Executive member Murray Aikenhead told the Record Monday, “We started the plant on the weekend and have a few of the initial floods on already!”
Plans to start curling are set for the week of November 17th. Aikenhead said Junior Curling will run on Monday, Men on Tuesday, Ladies on Wednesday and Mixed on Friday. While he did not have concrete numbers in front of him Aikenhead said that it looks like they will have about 12 men’s teams and 10 ladies’ teams. That is up from last year when they had nine men’s and six ladies’ teams.
“We are very pleased with the numbers to date,” said Aikenhead. He was not sure of how many mixed teams there will be. The 22 mentioned teams (approx.) means their will be at least 88 adult curlers supporting the club this year as well as a strong junior program and however many they get for Friday. It does look positive for the club.
Spares are also being welcomed to sign up. A spare is someone who is on a list to be called to curl in the event a team is short a curler. Often spares get as much and sometimes more curling than regular team members do.
Anyone interested in registering to curl or to spare can contact Ralph Armstrong at 852-3921 or Murray Aikenhead at 852-3330.