Dave Merklinger has pretty much finalized teams for the upcoming $37,500 Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic.
In the meantime, the Vernon club manager is setting up a variety of new leagues to push for new members.
“We have 650 members and we’d like to see lots of new people come out and try the game, hopefully like it, and join a league,” said Merklinger.
Merklinger, a world-class ice maker and stellar curler, will join former world junior champions Brad and Ryan Kuhn, and veteran Brier shotmaker Jim Cotter in teaching a free clinic next weekend.
There will be an open house next Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. with newbies urged to show up and throw a few rocks. Brooms will be supplied.
“We’re hoping to have a new family league Sunday afternoons from 1-3 for just $5,” said Merklinger. “We’d like to see grandparents playing with their grandchildren. We’ll be supplying free half-hour lessons.”
There is also going to be a Saturday 6 p.m. adult drop-in program for $10, including free instruction and a senior men’s drop-in Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m.
The regular men’s and women’s leagues are filling up fast with the men’s Tuesday nighter up to 28 rinks from 24 last season. The ladies play Wednesday nights and Tuesday and Thursday matinees.
The senior competitive league returns for Friday morning action, while the Friday night mixed circuit goes at 6:30.
The stick league for those with bad backs or knees will go Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Cotter and Merklinger, along with Cotter’s sister, Chelan Geistlinger, will run the junior program Mondays from 3:30-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon.
To register by phone, call the club office at 250-542-6713.