By Ned Bekavac
Ball hockey is coming to the Guelph Country Club.
About a year after shelving its curling program, the local facility has announced that the space formerly used for curling will be converted into a ball hockey arena and used by a local league.
Phil Thatcher, the Guelph Country Club’s marketing director, is delighted by the move. The club is teaming up with the Royal City Ball Hockey League.
“It’s a great partnership. It’s going to be much more of a vibrant club – it’s a new era,” said Thatcher on Friday.
The year-round Royal City Ball Hockey League will be run by Jim and Jackie Ranahan, who currently operate the Centre Wellington Ball Hockey League in Elora.
“They are going to bring their experience and passion for the sport to the club and Guelph region,” said a news release.
The deal between the league and the club is for five years, with a potential of five more after that, said Thatcher
“We’re in it for the long haul,” he said.
The club, which is now again called the Guelph Country Club after it had Guelph Golf and Curling Club as its name for a time, was host to curling until last year.
While the sport of curling is “hot” at the Guelph Curling Club, it “fizzled” at the Guelph Country Club, said Thatcher.
The Royal City Ball Hockey League will see kids and adults compete. Thatcher expects things to get underway around Oct. 1.
Work to install the arena should begin in the next week or so.
“It’s going to look cool,” Thatcher said.
“And we’ll have a great combo of golf and hockey up there.”
For more on the Centre Wellington Ball Hockey League, visit www.cwballhockey.com