Melfort Curling Club named 2023 Club of the Year

CurlSask Photo Melfort Curling Club Board members Kerrie de Gooijer, Jesse Drayton and Brian Kjelshus accepted the 2023 Club of the Year Award on behalf of the Melfort Curling Club in Regina.

The Melfort Curling Club has been recognized by CurlSask for their work.

The club was named 2023 Curling Club of the Year by CurlSask at the 2023 Future of Curling Symposium in Regina on April 16. Curling Club president Corey Faye said they were surprised to be chosen.

“I would say that anytime you are recognized by your provincial body that’s an accomplishment and definitely a surprise,” Faye said. “I am sure there are lots of clubs out there that are working hard too and probably deserve it as much as we do, but it’s great recognition that’s for sure.”

Along with Melfort winning Club of the Year, Wynyard was awarded Future Club and Lanigan Curling Club was awarded Club Membership Growth.

“I just think that it’s a great recognition for our club and it shows that our members and our whole organization and volunteers are working hard to keep our club on track,” Faye explained. “Hopefully we can keep pushing in making the place as great as we can.”

The Melfort Curling Club has increased its presence and partnered with many sponsors such as Bourgault Industries as part of a revitalization project. Faye said that was part of the logic behind the recognition.

‘I think that’s a part of it. Our growth in membership is a part of it. I think increasing our visibility in the area, we have got a very active Facebook page and social media platform, I know that is taken into account. I know we try to engage with CurlSask as much as we can and get the most out of the club,” Faye said.

“Membership growth, our volunteer engagement all of those things I think factored into the award.”

Faye explained that the membership at the curling club had seen a growth of more than 20 per cent. That includes a lot of new members are in the 18-40 age bracket.

“Those are new members who will be with us for a long time, so that’s definitely exciting,” Faye said.

The club has an established membership core that has been around for decades and Faye said that the new membership can learn from the veterans of the club.

Melfort is set to host the Curling Day in Canada Festival in 2024. This past year, more 550,000 people tuned into the special TSN broadcast.

TSN announced in February that Curling Day in Canada would be coming to Melfort next year. This increased the club’s visibility even more, Faye said.

“You build momentum, so having that increased participation and the visibility that we are getting and this award, it all factors into getting more recognition, getting more highlights, getting more things coming to town. That Curling Day in Canada thing is just an evolution of everything that we have been working on,” Faye said.

They are already searching for volunteers from Melfort, Star City, St. Brieux and the surrounding areas ahead of planning beginning.

“The planning for that is going to start in May and our hope is to get as many volunteers involved as we can,” Faye said. “Right now we are really pushing in our Facebook page to find people who are interested in helping us put on that event.”