Summer curling season kicks off July 7

June 19th, 2014 by Lynn

    PLYMOUTH — Believe it or not, summer is here, along with the biting flies, mosquitoes and the humidity that accompanies every outdoor activity. If you’re looking to avoid the bugs and beat the summer heat, the Plymouth Rocks Summer Curling League starts Monday, July 7, at The Plymouth State Ice Arena. Whether you’re looking forward to chilling with your friends, needing some QT with a loved one or requiring an activity the entire family can enjoy, curling is the perfect opportunity to be active this summer no matter what New England weather has in store for us.

    The Plymouth Rocks Summer Curling League is open to anyone who has attended a learn to curl session. If you have never curled before, you have the opportunity to throw your first stone at the summer curling open house on Thursday, July 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free, and it’s a great way to learn the basic techniques and concepts of the game while meeting like-minded people who may very well be your next teammates.

    Aside from being a social pursuit, curling is a great way to exercise the brain while improving your physical fitness. The strategy is multi-faceted, much like a game of chess, which gives the game a rich complexity that players find exhilarating and addictive. Each offensive position offers varying degrees of aerobic exercise, with the sweeping requiring the most endurance, and the throwing of the stone requiring more strength and balance.

    All equipment will be provided for the enjoyment of the game, including the stones, brooms, sliders (which attach onto your sneaker), stabilizers (to help with balance) and delivery sticks (for those with bad knees or who have trouble bending). All ages and abilities are welcome from a 12-year-old newbie to a 90-year-old veteran and players are welcome to bring helmets to wear for head protection. Treat yourself to a cool hiatus this summer by immersing yourself into a new social, active and compelling experience that is sure to spur stories and lasting memories to make us smile and chuckle at for years to come.

    The Plymouth Rocks Curling League will run from July 7-Aug. 25 on Monday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $300 per four-person team for a total of eight games. You may register to play online or in person. To register online, please visit http://www.plymouth.edu/arena/curling/. The first eight teams to pay will play on Monday nights. If there is enough interest in league play, Thursday nights may be made available. They are looking forward for the exciting continuance of curling and for the familiar sound of skips hollering, stones roaring and the ever-present exchange of “good curling” to fill the arena once again.

    For more information on curling or any other ice arena event, please visit www.skateplymouthstate.com or e-mail us at psu-icearena@plymouth.edu.

     

    Curling “sweeps” into Plymouth

    April 9th, 2014 by Michael

      by Joshua Spaulding

      As spring attempts to make its way into the Plymouth area, Sunday afternoon saw more than 30 people taking to the ice of the Hanaway Rink at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena.

      Many meeting for the first time that day, the folks were coming from various portions of the community to open up a Sunday afternoon curling league.

      This group joined another league playing from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as leagues running on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.

      “It’s been bigger than I ever could’ve imagined,” said arena manager Dave Gyger. “We’re opening up more practice day because people want it.”

      Amazingly enough, curling at the PSU arena started just eight weeks ago, but buoyed by the televised matches from the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in February, the program has burgeoned and has become a huge hit at the arena.

      Gyger was working in Waterville Valley about 10 years ago when they hosted Scottish Games. The Belfast Curling Club came to do a demonstration and Gyger was determined that he would get a club going locally at some point.

      “Ever since, it’s always been in my head, if I got to a place where I could, this was something I wanted to do,” he said.

      The arena held an intro to curling class and more than 230 people showed up for the class.

      About 60 percent of those people signed up to continue on with league play and there is currently more than 100 participants in the league play.

      “For the first year, this is unbelievable,” Gyger said as he looked across the ice at the 32 people with smiles on their face enjoying the afternoon. “It’s an absolute roaring success.”

      Gyger noted that none of the success the program has seen would be possible without the support of the university and the Mount Washington Valley Curling Club, based out of the Ham Arena in Conway. That club started a few years ago and has been moving along nicely.

      Gyger noted that the MWV group was instrumental in helping to teach the PSU arena staff how to teach the game and lots of the basics. Some of the MWV members were in attendance on Sunday afternoon participating in league play.

      “They’ve really helped us along,” Gyger said. “MWV has been unbelievable.”

      The university purchased the four sets of stones needed to hold four matches at one time on the ice surface. Each match includes 16 stones (eight for each team), so a total of 64 stones were purchased, the largest expense of starting the club.

      “This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the university,” Gyger said. “We’re very fortunate for their support.”

      Making ice for the curling is also a bit different than normal. The zamboni runs a dry run over the ice, not putting down water, but just scraping up the “snow” left from whatever activity was on the ice previously. Staff members then take out backpacks full of water and essentially spray water drops onto the surface. Curling requires a surface loaded with tiny bumps and the water droplets freeze and provide that surface.

      Gyger also pointed out that the curling program is just another way to get people into the arena, and that’s always the goal.

      “The community outreach that we are able to get with this has been great,” Gyger continued. “It’s bringing people into the facility, they get to experience the building and hopefully they come back.”

      And Gyger notes that there have been a lot of great moments in the first few weeks of the program.

      He recounts a group from the Beckett School that plays on Tuesday night. The group includes people dealing with disabilities and he said the excitement on their faces as they played a great match just a week earlier was fantastic.

      But perhaps Gyger’s favorite story helped to hammer home that the curling program he brought to the arena was a sure-fire success.

      He relays a story of a gentleman coming off the ice, someone he hadn’t met and who didn’t know who he was. Gyger asked him what he thought of the program.

      “He said, ‘I have not seen so many people smile for such a long period,’” Gyger relayed. “That was a nice compliment to get from a perfect stranger.”

      The PSU arena can be reached at 535-2758. For those who missed the intro to curling classes, the arena will be offering drop-in curling on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m.

      Plymouth State prepares for curling this month

      March 6th, 2014 by Lynn

        PLYMOUTH — If you are one of the many spectators of curling during the Sochi 2014 Olympics, you have witnessed the nail-biting intensity, unyielding pressure and the fiery spirit as the teams fought brilliantly for the gold. The excitement has been shared amongst the 12 nations who have competed in Sochi.

        While the Olympics are winding down, the Plymouth State Ice Arena is gearing up. Forget about waiting another four years; curling is in the house starting March 18.

        The beauty of curling is that it can be enjoyed by an array of people. There is no running; there is no jumping; there is technique and strategy. Given that the game is played on ice wearing sneakers, balance is paramount. Luckily, this skill can be improved on by simply playing the sport. The most physical aspect of curling comes from furiously sweeping in front of the stone as it glides down the opposite end.

        Still not sure if you can curl? The ice arena is going to let you try for free so you can find out just how much fun you can have on ice. The Plymouth State Ice Arena is hosting its curling open house on March 18-20 and 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. All of the equipment will be provided and admission is free (donations are graciously accepted). Those participating in the adult league are required to attend one Intro to Curling Session.

        On March 18 and 19 they will be focusing on the fundamentals of curling; participants will learn how to deliver a stone. March 20 and 24 will teach the strategy of the game to experience the competitive side of Olympic curling. More than one session may be attended if desired. To sign up for an intro session, please e-mail the ice arena at  psu-icearena@plymouth.edu.

        The adult league begins on Tuesday, March 25, and runs until April 22 with playoffs the week of April 29. The first eight registered teams will play in league night 1 on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. The next eight registered teams will play in league night 2 on Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m.

        Additional nights will be added depending on the number of registered teams. To register to play, please e-mail psu-icearena@plymouth.edu as a team or an individual. Interested individuals will be placed on a team consisting of four players with up to two alternates (all members must attend an intro session).

        Join us for our curling open house to watch, play and even sign up for a team. See what all the hype is about. Discover the joy and laughter shared amongst teammates and adversaries alike. Curling is an experience that will have people talking, cheering and everyone smiling.

        Curling coming to PSU Ice Arena in March

        February 6th, 2014 by Michael

          Curling coming to PSU Ice Arena in March

          January 29th, 2014 by Michael

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