Congratulations to the great folks over at Keene Ice on the start of their construction on Marlboro Street here in Keene! It’s been great going for morning runs over the past couple of months and watching the construction evolve. They’ve been posting some photos and comments over to their page on Facebook and it’s been fun to see.
People have asked me about whether we’d be able to have any curling at the new Keene Ice arena. Given the fact that there is an extremely heavy demand for ice time for hockey leagues, figure skating and other ice activities, especially in light of the fact that Cheshire Ice Arena (our one other ice arena in the area) will not open next year, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be able to figure out a way to do much in the way of curling at the Keene Ice arena.
I wrote last year about the challenges of scheduling in getting a curling club going at an ice arena and that really remains the biggest challenge. I spoke with one of the Keene Ice folks earlier this year and the reality is that getting more than just a couple of hours at odd times is not likely to happen. I think it’s awesome for them that they have so much demand!
And, as someone who enjoys ice skating, I’m very much looking forward to skating at the new arena!
I wouldn’t rule out entirely doing something at the Keene Ice arena… even if it were just some demonstrations and “learn to curl” sessions at some point in time… but our focus continues to be on how we can identify a place for some dedicated curling ice that could let us grow the kind of curling club and curling community that we’d like to see.
If you’re interested, please do join with us and let us know your interested!
And if you get a chance to drive by the Keene Ice facility on Marlboro Street, do check it out – it’s great to see! Let’s make Keene a winter sports destination!
P.S. And yes, in addition to the scheduling, curling ice is also different from skating ice… although there are many ice arenas that work hard to get their ice closer to what you can get at a dedicated curling club.
The folks at Keene Ice just posted to their Facebook page that they’ll be in front of the Keene City Council tonight (Feb 19, 2015) and asked for people to come and provide support:
Supporters wanted! Tonight – City Hall – 7:30pm
We are so VERY close to beginning construction on the new arena…Please show your support for Keene ICE by attending tonight’s City Council meeting at 7:30pm, when the Council will be updated on the project before the final agreements are signed and we can started building your new rink!
If you can get there to support Keene Ice I would encourage you to do so. Unfortunately I have other plans (concert tickets) but I will be hoping all goes well for them. We’re not exactly sure what we’ll be able to do with the new arena in the way of curling, but we definitely believe this region needs this new arena as a way to bring more winter sports activity to the area. ThinkRink!
If you want to watch some outstanding curling, the US National Curling Championships are streaming live out of Kalamazoo, Michigan all this week and you can watch them live at:
These are the best Men’s and Women’s teams in the US all competing to be “Team USA” and represent the USA in the World Curling Championships coming up for Women on March 14-22 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan and for Men on March 28-April 5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The remaining games that will be streamed live are:
Wednesday, 8 a.m. ET Heath McCormick v. Korey Dropkin
Wednesday, 12 p.m. ET Patti Lank v. Kate Bert
Wednesday, 4 p.m. ET Brady Clark v. John Shuster
Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET Erika Brown v. Nina Roth
Thursday, 8 a.m. ET Brandon Corbett v. Paul Pustovar
Thursday, 12 p.m./4 p.m. ET Tiebreaker games, if needed
Thursday, 8 p.m. Page playoffs, women’s teams to be determined
Friday 12 p.m. Page playoffs, men’s teams to be determined
Friday, 4 p.m. ET Women’s semifinal
Friday, 8 p.m. ET Men’s semifinal
Saturday, 10 a.m. ET Women’s final
Saturday, 3 p.m. ET Men’s final
We should see some outstanding curling this week!
Interested in watching a curling game played by youth? Earlier this month I streamed some of the games of the Nashua Juniors Curling Bonspiel (ages 12+) coming out of the Nashua Curling Club in nearby Nashua, NH, and this is one you might enjoy as it was a well-played game with a nail-biting finish! My 12-year-old daughter Chloe was one of the players and I tried throughout the game to provide some commentary about what was going on.
One of the great aspects about youth curling is that when the kids go out on the ice to play they are all alone. There are no coaches or adults. When they go through the door onto the ice, it is entirely up to them. All the great moments are theirs… as are all the mistakes. They have to do everything to keep the game going. They have to do it all. All we can do as parents is be on the other side of the glass watching….
This video gives a good example of youth curling – the game starts at about 7:20 into the video. Enjoy! (And please sign up if you’d like to bring this kind of youth sports activity to the Monadnock region!)
Great post this week in the New York Times about a new curling club starting up in Brooklyn: “In the Borough of Beards, Lay Down Some Ice, and Out Come the Brooms“.
It reports that they had over 100 people turn out for their November Open House and now are setting up more leagues. Two sites to learn more:
Congratulations to the folks there on the launch of their new club!
If you’d like to help us bring curling to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, please fill out our form and let us know! Thanks!
If you have children from age 5 all the way up to 21 and are curious if the sport of curling might be something for them to consider, you can check it out at a Youth Curling Open House happening tomorrow, Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Petersham Curling Club about 45 minutes south of Keene in Petersham, MA. You can come by any time between 9:00am and 12noon and actually get on the ice to try it out. Learn about “throwing” the rocks (we actually slide them), using the brooms and about some of the strategy that many of us find so fascinating… you should even get a chance to play a bit of a game!
Plus you’ll get to meet some of the great youth already playing in the Petersham CC youth curling program and to learn about the benefits of the program. It should be a great time! Please see the flyer below for more info (click/tap on it for a larger version).
Getting to the Petersham Curling Club is pretty straightforward. From Keene, NH, just take Route 32 past the Keene airport and follow it all the way down through Athol, MA, and on over to Petersham, MA. The PCC is right on Route 32. (See the PCC directions page for more info.)
If you can’t make it tomorrow but are interested in learning more, the Petersham youth curling program takes place on Saturdays from now through March. For a local NH contact, you can email me as I help coaching the “Little Rocks” (ages 7-12) program at the PCC. You can also connect with the Petersham youth curling program on Facebook. Youth curling is a great experience – the kids learn a great amount about the sport and have a lot of fun along the way!
Want to get started curling now? While we continue the work of building the Monadnock Curling Club, you can get started right now at the Petersham Curling Club (PCC) about 45 minutes south of Keene, NH, in Petersham, MA.
The season has begun there and curling leagues are running all nights of the week and on the weekends. There are leagues for men, women, mixed teams, competitive teams, beginners and youth. You can contact the Petersham CC to find out how to get more involved. If you have never tried curling before, they do offer “Learn To Curl” clinics from time to time.
Several of us involved with this Monadnock Curling Club effort curl down at Petersham CC because it is the closest curling club to Keene. It’s a great place and an awesome group of people!
As far as getting there, it’s a straightforward (although winding and twisting) drive down Route 32 (the road by the Keene airport) that goes down through Richmond, NH, then over into Royalston, MA, and then Athol and finally Petersham. The PCC is right on Route 32 so as long as you stay on the road you’ll get there.
Please do check it out and consider getting started with curling today!