By Heather Scott
Sutton residents, as well as citizens from many local towns and villages, from Vermont to Farnham, are unbelievably lucky to benefit from wonderful fitness, competitive and social activities in Sutton.
At a time when many sporting associations are losing members, the Sutton Curling Club continues to flourish. It is wonderful to see numbers of young people filling the ranks.
This year, the curling season will begin with the traditional golf tournament hosted by Rochers Bleus. It is always a fun event and a good way for the curlers to catch up after the summer break. Open House occurs in early October. Watch for the signs in front of the club. Everyone is welcome to come and tour the club. Take the time to throw a stone. Members will be available to give mini lessons. If throwing seems daunting, try a delivery stick, a device commonly used by some senior members.
The club is open daily. Teams, ranging from experienced to beginners, play from Monday to Thursday evenings. Seniors play on Tuesday and Friday mornings, while the ladies curl or play bridge on Thursday afternoons. Students from the Sutton School also play from time to time.
Friday evening is social. Members can come by and have a snack or a drink, play a pick-up game or just ‘hang out’. On Saturday mornings the club is open for practice.
The Sutton Curling Club is run almost completely by volunteers, keeping membership fees low. New members get a big reduction! The fee for social members is minimal.
Social activities are a big part of belonging to a curling club. Activities begin with the games. Although competitive, they are always friendly. The members of the winning team traditionally buy a drink for the members of the losing team. One long time member enjoys a rum and coke if he wins but chooses orange juice if his team loses.
Opening cocktails follow the open house. Feel free to mingle and meet the members if you have been touring the club and trying out the ice. Christmas means a traditional Christmas dinner and dance.
All year, everyone looks forward to the St. Patrick’s Bonspiel. There is the wearing of the green and the crazy hat competition not to mention a great chance to play with curlers from other teams. This year, corned beef and cabbage will be served along with the green beer. Music will be provided by John Salisbury, local musicians and anyone else who would like to join in.
There are many competitive opportunities available for players and watchers alike. ‘The Lions of winter’ play fellow seniors from exotic locations such as Lennoxville and Stanstead. The Super Bowl Skins game brings out the competitive spirit in all who play or attend. Many players head out to bonspiels in local towns often bringing home trophies!
In keeping with the bilingual nature of our town, the members are a good mix of francophones and anglophones. The terms “SWEEP” and “BALAYER” are interchangeable!
The club is also available for rent. Many groups of friends or families will rent the hall and ice for celebrations and just general fun. Anyone can rent the club. A coach will be provided free of charge if there are new curlers in the group. Companies large and small find that curling is a good team building activity.
October is fast approaching. Club members are getting ready to trade their golf clubs for their brooms. We are looking forward to introducing a large number of new members to the fun of curling!