Try Curling Night exposes people of all ages to ‘lifelong sport’

A registrant of the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club's Try Curling Night gets help as she prepares to throw on Dec. 11, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club 2020 sessions start Jan. 2

Over 60 people attended an event dedicated to new curlers at the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club (PAGCC) on Wednesday evening.

Pat Bibby, John Toner and Norm Vetter—all volunteers at the club—decided to host a Try Curling Night ahead of the new sessions starting in the new year. Each of the volunteers agreed that most people who give the sport a try will join a league, whether it’s competitive or just for a fun.

“It’s a lifelong sport. We have people who are 10 up to some of us that are older,” said Bibby with a laugh. She regularly curls a couple of times a week and is one of the club’s main volunteers, particularly in teaching the juniors.

“As long as you can move, you can curl.”

She said when people are learning, they tend to struggle with balance.

“The biggest thing is just to learn the game and get a feeling of how they count. The social part of it is very important as well,” she said.

“It’s one of the most social sports there is,” agreed Toner, who’s on the PAGCC’s board of directors. He said teams will almost always go upstairs to The Rock and Iron after games, constantly meeting new people and building community.

The volunteers were supervising each sheet, teaching the new curlers the basic techniques and answering questions. Even though several people fell, it didn’t seem to stop them for getting up and trying again.

Vetter, another board of directors member, pointed out one woman who had little experience when she attended a class about seven weeks ago. She’s now able to smoothly deliver a rock.

“We had 10 people in the class. Five of them when we went out on the ice the first night, we took them for a walk from one end to the other. They were kind of afraid to be out there. By the end of that night, they were all comfortable on the ice, they were throwing rocks,” he said.

“It’s amazing how far people will come.”

Vetter said curling is a way for him to meet new people and stay active.

“When I retired eight years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do all day,” he said. “Whether it’s golfing in the summer or curling in the winter, I come out here lots. It’s a great place to be. There’s lots of people to meet.”

The club provides basic equipment such as brooms and sliders.

The new sessions starting start Jan. 2 are available for all experiences from ages 12 to 90. You can register as a team or individually by calling (306) 765-5201.

The PAGCC is also hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Doubles Night on Wednesday, Dec. 18 starting at 7 p.m. It costs $20 per team and includes drink tickets to The Rock and Iron, 50/50s and a draw to the button contest.