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Swan stops in Middleton on cross-Canada curling tour


By Karen SotvedtCurling Across Canada. That is the goal of Rob Swan, a curler out of New Brunswick from a small-town facility similar to Middleton Curling Club.

Rob Swan, front, third from right, curled at the Middleton Curling Club January 22 in his quest to curl across Canada to draw attention to the plight of many small clubs.

In an effort to publicize the value of small rinks and the problems they face, Rob set himself the task of curling 100 games in 100 clubs across the country. This past week he came to Middleton and found the characteristic hospitality for which the town and the club are known.

On Thursday, Jan. 22 Rob was joined by seven club members to add another game to his goal. A great time was had by all, with the teams composed of regular and junior members, skipped by Rick Greene and president Bill Eaton. Bonnie Morine served curlers and spectators with a light lunch after the game but Rob could not linger. He was on his way to Digby to catch the ferry on his way to another game!

Rob began his odyssey back in October with 16 games in Winnipeg and he feels there are more to be played in Manitoba. In January he curled in 17 games in the Toronto area and has already visited a number of clubs in Nova Scotia and his native New Brunswick. 

He hopes to attract sponsors who will help out his club with the renovations that they need to keep the doors open. While curling has become very popular as a spectator sport and the television coverage has increased, the shrinking size of rural communities has made the continuation of smaller clubs problematic. Rob’s journey has been covered in several national papers and can be followed on the Facebook page Curling Across the Nation.

MCC has experienced all the problems that Rob is trying to shine a spotlight on. Thankfully, so far the efforts of the dedicated volunteer workers have kept the club not only running but able to host both curling and non-curling events with great results. This past Saturday there was another very well-attended Big Breakfast, and by the end of this week, the Provincial Masters will be in town. Games for this five-day event begin on Friday, Jan. 30 with men’s draws at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The ladies’ events join on Saturday so that there will be men’s and women’s draws at the same time – something for everyone. The schedule and up-to-the-minute scores can be found on LiveCurling.com. As always spectators are not only welcome but encouraged to come and cheer on our visiting teams and give a special shout-out to Middleton’s own Men’s Masters team skipped by Wayne Schurman. 

Karen Sotvedt is a member of the Middleton Curling Club and writes a weekly column for The Annapolis County Spectator

See www.middletoncurlingclub.com

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