Will Poland have its first all-year curling hall?
Poland has a chance to take next big step in national curling development with building a first all-year curling facility in the country. The information comes from Adela Walczak, member of a former national team in mixed doubles and skip of one of top women teams in Poland. She informed on Facebook that the deal for a new hall is almost sealed. The information was also confirmed by journalist and curling player Paweł Burlewicz in Przegląd Sportowy.
The facility in question would be a 4-sheet, private-funded standalone hall located in Łódź in central Poland. It is expected to be ready in early 2017.
Even though curling is present in Poland for over ten years, there is still no fully-fledged curling facility in the country. Unlike most of our neighbours, so far we can only rely on seasonal objects.
There are two separate curling sheets operating in Bełchatów and Pawłowice, however they are connected to tented ice rinks, which makes them extremely vulnerable to weather conditions. They also operate only for 4-5 months per year.
About a month ago new sheet was completed in Gdańsk in Olivia Arena. In this case it is a concrete building, immune to weather conditions. This year it’s been under testing: in two weeks a bonspiel will take place in Gdańsk and curlers will have a chance to try it.
About two years ago a curling hall “Level up” was open in Warsaw. It is located in old industrial building and is not open all year. Because of the conditions in the building ice quality is said to be poor to bad. A first event organized there turned out to be a fiasco because of ice quality, but since then several national-level event were held there.
“Level up”, however, is operated by Polish Federation of Winter Sports, which is closely tied to Polish Curling Associations. Due to a conflict in Polish curling milieu, possibility to use the hall is is reduced for non-PCA members (i.e. it is only available for City Curling Club and Gdańsk Curling Club). The rest have to face high fees, probably inadequate to service quality.
That being said, new curling facility located in central Poland would be a huge opportunity for Polish curling to develop further. The details of the final cost, precise location and pricing policy has not yet been revealed, but most of Polish curlers are really looking forward to more details and the grand opening.