Norfolk Curling Club tentatively reopening in January

Curlers taking to the ice at the Norfolk Curling Club back in January, a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.
Curlers taking to the ice at the Norfolk Curling Club back in January, a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.

NORFOLK — Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, The Norfolk Curling Club, located at 70 Golf Drive, is tentatively reopening in January.
The club was founded in 1956 and, as of last year, had 125 members.
Just like other curling and sports clubs across the country, the Norfolk Curling Club canceled its activities for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season on March 15.
In an interview with The Winsted Phoenix, Club Vice President Mike Van Ness said that the club is currently developing reopening plans and is still investigating the feasibility of reopening.
“While we are still working on reopening plans, we are certain that safety precautions will have a profound effect on playing,” Van Ness said. “The biggest difference is going to be in the sweeping. They will be cutting down to one sweeper instead of two. It isn’t a good idea to have two people close together.”
Van Ness said that the rest of the curlers on the ice will have to be distanced as much as possible.
“We’re going to be very limited when it comes to people in the building, with only 16 people at a time,” Van Ness said. “We will not allow any spectators or outside curlers in the building. We will not be allowed to gather before or after an event. Players have to come, play their event, and then leave. The building will have to be sanitized as far as enhanced touch point cleaning between the draws. We have to leave at least a half an hour between when one group leaves and the next group shows up.”
Van Ness said that this season there will be no Bonspiels with clubs from other towns and states at the Curling Club.
“Only Norfolk Curling Club members will be allowed inside the building,” he said. “I know that these guidelines will be really hard for our members to stomach. The social aspect is a very big part of the game, even at the elite level. I think that a little bit of competition and a little bit of social gathering, such as it is, still presents positive opportunities for people.”
Van Ness added that he hopes that the club will go forward with a season where players take part “safely and responsibly.”
“It’s been a difficult time for club members during this pandemic,” he said. “Nobody likes to be told that they have to do something or be put under such strict regulations. But we need to be safe.”
Van Ness added that the Norfolk Curling Club’s website at will have more news about the club’s reopening plans in the next few weeks.

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