Fresh plans for new ice: AGM 6th June

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Revised plans for a dedicated curling facility in North Wales will be presented at the Welsh Curling Association’s Annual General Meeting this June. Both members and non-members are invited to the event, which is at St David’s Park Hotel on the evening of Monday 6th June.

Despite the disappointment of not being selected for the World Curling Federation’s Portable Curling Facility trial, the team behind Curling in Wales have not let the matter rest. Alternative funding has been identified for the scheme, which if fulfilled would bring a new ice rink just for Curling to the Queensferry area.

Curling at the existing Deeside Ice Rink has been established for more than 40 years, but suffera from two significant issues: limited availability, and difficulty converting the ice to a suitable standard for curling.

Due to the current rink also being used for skating and ice hockey, the number of people who can enjoy the sport is severely restricted. For those who wish to improve their skills, the available ice time and variable quality is a significant hinderance.

Currently, Wales has four hours of curling ice on Monday nights during the winter season – allowing a maximum of 96 players (64 in the last season due to poor ice on 2 of the sheets). In the weeks following the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014, more than 600 people came to try the sport for the first time. Sadly, some had to be turned away due the restricted availability, while for others Mondays are simply not practical for them. This has severely restricted the growth of the sport in Wales, and has also meant that the national teams have no choice but to travel to other parts of the UK and to Europe to play and practice.

For several years, a task force from the Welsh Curling Association has been exploring the possibilities and preparing plans for a new ice rink, which would be in a “temporary” building (designed to last an initial 10 years), enabling curling to take place on consistent ice and throughout the week. It is hoped the new facility would be ready before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and the likely influx of new interest in curling that is anticipated.

The latest version of the plans will be presented to both current and past members of the Association, and others who are interested, before the Annual General Meeting. If you have previously expressed interest in curling at Deeside but have not been able to come on a Monday, you may also wish to attend.

Non-members who wish to find out more are very welcome, but please contact the WCA Secretary with your contact details at least 24 hours before the event. In addition, all media enquiries should be directed to media@welshcurling.org.uk.