Mike Mallett may not be all that well known in B.C.’s curling community.
But his wife sure is.
The new general manager of the Golden Ears Winter Club (GEWC) is husband to Marla Mallett, an accomplished skip who has had success on many levels.
Most recently, Marla’s foursome from New Westminster finished second behind the Kelly Scott-skipped rink from Kelowna at the 2012 B.C. Scott Tournament of Hearts, held at the North Shore Winter Club.
Marla is a former world junior and three time provincial ladies champion. On top of that, she has competed at two Olympic trials and was the runner-up at the 2009 national bonspiel in Victoria.
Before he met his future wife, Mallett didn’t even know where to find the local curling club in New Westminster. He played lacrosse and rugby growing up and, by his own admission, “Never had anything to do with the curling club.”
Mallett, who started his new job as GEWC GM Aug. 7, is a relative curling newbie compared to his spouse. A resident of Walnut Grove, Mallett curled at a recreational level for four years at the Langley Curling Club.
His occupation, pre-GEWC, was marketing manager for Bradley Smoker, which manufacturers electric food smokers. Then, Mallett was a casualty of the recent economic downturn.
He was laid off.
A window opened a year-and-a-half ago, when Mallett grew more active at the Langley Curling Club. He subsequently took on the role of director of community events for the World Financial Group Continental Cup of Curling, an international competition hosted by the Langley Events Centre this past January.
“That was where I set the groundwork for this [GM position at GEWC], if you will,” Mallett said.
Mallett said he was chosen for the position based on his sales and marketing experience, as the Golden Ears club attempts to grow its membership.
Located at 23580 105th Ave., beside Planet Ice, the club currently includes 400 members ranging from juniors up to 80-plus years of age, “and everything in between,” Mallett said.
Mallett would like to see that membership number double in size.
“We’re in the process of devising a three-to-five year plan to built it from the junior level up,” Mallett said. “When young curlers see it’s economical sport, and it’s fun, and you can meet lots of good people, and obviously it’s changed my career path, not to mention my life.”
Mallett has fallen for curling. He said the Olympics has heightened the sport’s profile, and on a grassroots level, it’s an inclusive activity that anyone can play.
“I really enjoy the sport, and it’s something you can do for a long time,” Mallett said.
As for his new workplace, the GEWC is a “fantastic facility,” in Mallett’s opinion.
It houses six sheets of ice and two junior (half) sheets running width-wise along the back of the facility. In the summertime, when the ice comes out, the building morphs into a ball hockey arena for youth players.
“This becomes Ridge Meadows Minor Ball Hockey [Association],” Mallett said.
On the upper floor of the Winter Club is a 160-seat banquet facility which is used year round. On Sept. 29, the banquet room and the curling rinks will be used for the Coast Capital Savings Cops For Cancer fundraiser.
And from Jan. 4-6, 2013, Golden Ears Winter Club is hosting the B.C. Men’s Open.
“There will be teams from all over B.C. competing to go to the provincial championships,” Mallett said.
In the more immediate future, the club is hosting an open house this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16). Doors open at 9 a.m. Saturday with opening ceremonies at 11 a.m.
On Sunday, the open house runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with curling clinics at 6 p.m.
Event activities include free ice to throw some rocks, a draw to the button contest on Saturday, samples from the Last Rock Concession, a barbecue, Saturday night social, and registration.
To register for this event contact the club at 604-463-4813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.