Curling Club Column FEB 18/11
By: Kim Kirkham
As we turn the corner on the last leg of our curling season we give thanks to the members who have supported their club over the past year.
It will soon be time to hang up the curling brooms and reach for the golf clubs. I hope you take a moment to reflect on this past season, one of new friendships and the rekindling of old. Be proud that you have participated in a sport that is full of traditions, kind etiquettes and social graces.
Behind every successful club there is an ice maker or more commonly referred to at the Ice Technician?
Chris Jones was born in North Bay Ontario. He moved to Vancouver Island at the age of 5. He began his curling career at a young age of 13, and played on the High School Team that won The Comox Valley Curling Championship in 1974.
Chris moved to Slave Lake Alberta in 2001, and curled in the local club. He held various positions on the Board of Directors and became the icemaker of the small town rink.
Chris is the ice technician at the Penticton Curling Club, he and his wife Cathy are becoming familiar faces to the Club’s 500 members. If you happen by the club on any given day, you’re likely to catch Chris and Cathy scraping away at the ice surface in preparation of the next game.
It’s a cold and often lonely business Chris Jones is in, but he is no stranger to the 146 feet of ice.
As a teenager he helped out around the Comox Valley rink, cleaning and pebbling the ice.
In 2009 he was an assistant icemaker in the “Roar of the Rings”, and in 2010 assisted with the ice at “The Brier”.
Maintaining the ice at a curling club is an art and science all in one. The job of the icemaker is anything but glamorous; he puts in 10-14 hours per day, prepping the ice. Compliments of the ice are often measured in silence, the less you hear, the better the job you have done.
Teachers come in many forms, whether it’s learning a sport, musical instruments or simply a lesson in life.
The Best Teachers teach from the heart, and Chris is no exception he brings passion to coaching the junior program.
Along with a group of dedicated volunteers he teaches 34 juniors every Thursday. He also helps to coach up to 6 classes a day (Grade 5-12) that use the Curling Club as a part of the sport curriculum.
Chris is hoping to have a Competative High School Curling Team in place for the 2011/2012 season in hopes of competing in the 2012 play downs which will be held at The Penticton Rink.
Why does Chris curl? He quickly answers, I love the camaraderie of the game but most of all I love to watch people learn.
Does he have a hero in the world of curling, you bet, Bernie Sparks who is a 1960’s Brier and World Champion.
Chris and his wife Cathy are happy to be part of the Penticton Curling Family.
Around the home
February 19-20 The Mixed Zone Play downs will be held at The Penticton Curling Club, We have two teams from Penticton playing off, Chris Jones Rink and St John Rink. The draws are: Saturday 9:00 am, 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 am. Everyone welcome!
March 4-6th Western Mixed Open Bonspiel. We are still looking for a couple of individuals to fill teams. The action begins on Friday night. Saturday night we will be entertained by The Infamous Band “Uncorked”. Everyone welcome!
In closing I would like to thank the media for their support. Very special thanks go out to Emanuel Sequeira from The Penticton Western, for always being there to cover our bonspiels and special events.
Happy Curling Everyone!