13 July 2015


Bonspiel atmosphere 'buzzing'

By Lynda van Kempen on Mon, 13 Jul 2015

Otago Daily Times
Naseby is ''buzzing with excitement'' as the village prepares to host its first national bonspiel in more than 80 years. The influx of curlers from throughout the country began yesterday and the action begins from 8.30am today on Centennial Ponds, across the road from the ice and international indoor curling rinks.

Naseby ice master and Naseby Curling Council president Jock Scott said the event was going to be ''huge'' for the town.
Curlers were ''called'' to the event on Saturday and up to 300 curlers, members of the country's 36 curling clubs, are expected to attend. It will be the first national bonspiel since 2012. The two day event is held only when weather and ice conditions are suitable.

Traditionally, the event is staged at the Idaburn Dam, at Oturehua, but there is insufficient ice on the dam this year for the tournament.
The event was last held in the Naseby district, on farmland, more than 80 years ago. Ancient Briton Hotel owner Adrian Hood said everyone in Naseby was ''buzzing with excitement - in fact, hugely excited'' about hosting the bonspiel.

''Jock Scott's done a great job to make this all happen so we have to give him the credit for it.'' The hotel was full and some curlers would be accommodated in holiday houses, he said. ''Obviously there's a lot of local [Central Otago] curlers involved, but there's a lot from out of town too, and we've already had the mad West Coast curlers descend on us.''
The hotel was catering for the traditional ''beef and greens'' dinner which would be held in the town hall tomorrow night, followed by the Curlers' Court - a secret ceremony where new curlers are initiated into the brotherhood of curling.

Naseby General Store owner Marilyn Swinbourn said there was ''a nice vibe'' around town. She had already made a sign to say her shop would be closed this afternoon because she would be curling.
''You know the rules - that's what happens. If a bonspiel is called, everyone answers the call and it doesn't happen very often.''

Mr Scott said the ice was looking good. He was marking out the playing surface yesterday ready for the tournament. The infrastructure required to host such a big event was ''massive'', he said. Poolburn is the defending champion.