Curlers backing extra two-lane rink

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A selection of curlers across Central Otago are among those backing an extra two-lane curling rink at Alexandra’s Iceinline.

The proposed new two-lane curling rink was up for discussion when the Alexandra Clyde and Districts Business Group met for a breakfast meeting last Friday.

Iceinline committee member Earnscy Weaver said the project, which would also include a roof over the existing rink, was not designed to be in competition with Naseby’s world-class curling rink.

Curlers who attended the meeting said they believed improved facilities at Alexandra would only better the sport and be an extra asset for the community.

Clubs represented at the breakfast included Lowburn, Alexandra, Manorburn, Naseby, Becks, Cambrians, Chatto Creek and Rough Ridge.

Becks Curling Club member Snow Hamilton, who is also a tour guide and bus driver for people on the Otago Central Rail Trail, said it would definitely be worth investing in.

“Fifty percent, at least, of people I meet on the rail trail show an interest in the curling.”

Mr Hamilton said he always encouraged people to dedicate five days to their Central Otago visit so they could add the Naseby curling facility to their itinerary.

“They just can’t believe the facility here.”

He hopes the Alexandra complex gets the financial backing it needs so it could be open for part of the bike season too.

The World Curling Federation has agreed to help fund part of the project with an interest-free loan of $100,000, on the provision the new lanes were used for curling only.

Mr Weaver said $300,000 was needed for the first stage of the project.

To help towards that, he said the Central Otago Community Trust has been approached for assistance.

The response has been positive, he said.

Joint effort . . . Iceinline committee member Earnscy Weaver addresses the audience at last week’s Alexandra Clyde and Districts Business Group meeting about the proposed new two-lane ice rink. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON