Curling clubs of every shape and size have dusted off their sliders and brooms as the new season arrives.
The Drumheller Mail checked in with five main communities to see how their season was shaping up.
The Drumheller Curling Club boasts of 15 kids coming out to try the sport for the first day.
The ladies league started on Tuesday, November 7 and the men’s league started on Wednesday, November 8. The ladies will have league games every Tuesday. The men’s league games will follow on Wednesday nights and mixed team games will happen the following day on Thursday.
Eleven teams have signed up for the mixed league so far.
“It was a good turnout, we like to see the sheets full so if we get another couple teams that would be great,” said Heather Little, junior curling representative.
The first fun night of the season was held on Friday, November 17. These nights happen about once a month.
“Those nights are just for anyone who wants to come try it out, maybe members who want to get some extra ice time,” said Little. “So it’s for anybody who wants to come and curl and have a good time.”
Regular curlers will be available to instruct anyone who needs help.
“It’s just a great way to try it out without having to commit to the team or league,” said Little.
Junior curling focuses on skill development and encouraging children to come back year after year to strengthen these skills.
“We look forward to where they are at the end of the year,” said Little.
For Rumsey, the curling club is nothing short of a powerhouse with 12 full teams. These members reside in areas like Byemoor, Delia, Drumheller, Rumsey, Rowley, Morrin, Munson, and beyond.
The league started on Monday, November 6. There are 12 square draw teams with numbers rising from last year.
“The ice is nice and clean and if anybody is interested in curling in Rumsey we are always willing to make space for you,” said Al Hampton, president of the Rumsey club.
No drop-in curling is available but anyone can be put on the spare list in case a team is down a player.
For junior curling, Morrin school has a Grade 12 men’s team which will be utilizing the ice for their season.
The mixed bonspiel will mark the end of the season on March 10, 2018.
“If you’re a curler, it’s always a good year,” laughed Hampton.
Delia’s curling club started their season on Friday, November 17. They are finding it harder to get members.
“Curling seems to be popular on TV but curling in the community isn’t what it used to be,” said Jason Reed, Delia curling club director.
To make up for it, the Junior curling program has many members in both Junior High and Senior High.
A highlight is always the ‘Glowspiel’ in early January where the club paints the house rings with glow-in-the-dark paint. Black lights are also present.
“You’re kind of in the dark but you’re not really,” said Reed. “It’s pretty popular.”
Hussar’s Curling Club started on Tuesday, November 14. After the initial get-together, the club has four mixed teams for Tuesday nights and eight teams for Wednesday nights in the square draw.
Anyone is welcome to put their name on the spare list if interested by calling any of the current board members. Drop-in’s are also welcome.
“Show up on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and somebody will help them for sure,” said Wendy Kaiser, Hussar curling board member. “There’s always people there to come in and welcome them.”
The annual ‘Turkey Curl’ is on this upcoming Friday, December 1.
“Shooting the rock closest to the button wins a turkey,” said Kaiser. “Everybody welcome.”
The Hussar club is always willing to take on new curlers.
“If anybody is truly interested in curling, come on out, there’s people there from Standard, Strathmore, and people from everywhere.”
On November 20, Carbon Curling had their first official gathering.
“We’re just getting going for the season, we’re going to be finishing the ice on the weekend and we’re going to start our regular drawing today,” said Scott Hyshka, president of the Carbon Curling Club.
The league is open and will be made up of mixed teams.
“We’re just trying to spark some interest and get more people back out there than in previous years and maybe get some new faces to come and learn the game and get the numbers up,” said Hyshka.