SUNDRE — Local curlers are looking forward to getting back on the ice early in the New Year following the Sundre Curling Club’s registration night.
“It went better than we expected. We had more bodies come in and register,” said Kris Burkholder, club president.
Now, the club is endeavouring to follow up and connect with past players who did not come out to register to remind them of upcoming league play, which begins early in January, said Burkholder.
But in the meantime, the process of preparing the ice and getting the plant running is underway, she said.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the ice in before Christmas,” she said.
Although she did not immediately have available the number of people registered to play, Burkholder was able to confirm several leagues have successfully been formed. Those are the afternoon ladies, seniors, as well as the combined open-mixed leagues, she said.
As there was no men’s league as of the time she spoke with The Albertan, Burkholder said they’d be playing in the open-mixed league. But should a sudden surge in registrations of men wanting to play materialize, she added branching off with a dedicated league remains entirely possible.
“We’re pretty flexible,” she said.
The club has also already scheduled dates for the season’s upcoming bonspiels.
“That’s encouraging as well,” she said. “We’re really optimistic, the people I’ve talked to are just so excited to be able to get out and do something.”
The club will be kicking off its bonspiels with the open-mixed event, which takes place Jan. 27-30.
“The restriction program is in effect. (But) other than that, it’s clear sailing,” she said, adding people will have to provide either the QR code proving vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test result.
The ladies bonspiel is lined up on Feb. 10-13, followed by the Sundre Oilmen’s Association spiel on March 11-13, with the open bonspiel season wind-up event taking place March 31 to April 3.
Regular league play gets started on Tuesday, Jan. 4 with the seniors league, followed by the ladies afternoon league on Wednesday, and the open league on Thursday evening, she said.
“It’ll be three days (of curling weekly), which is what we had before,” she said. “There may not be as many leagues, but we’re happy with everything so far.”
Additionally, she said anyone who might be interested in managing the club’s concession is asked to contact Terry Nelson at 403-638-4056.
Burkholder also encourages and invites anybody with an interest in trying out the sport but who for whatever reason has stayed on the sidelines, to not be shy about showing up.
“We really are welcoming anyone who has ever thought they wanted to curl, and hasn’t come to the rink yet,” she said. “We have people here who can help them if they want to learn. Don’t be afraid — come on down and we’ll take care of ya!”