Sunday, November 22, 2015

Curling season begins

Josh Davis and Toni Lucas

Pincher Creek Curling Club held their first bonspiel of the 2015/16 season on November 13/14, the Moonlight Open. Sturling Curling has also been introduced at the Pincher Creek rink this season.  It's aimed at an older crowd but people of all ages are willing to try it out.

According to Moonlight Open Bonspiel organizer Jessie Nelson, the theme for Saturday the 14th was "Neon", and everyone wore bright costumes and glow sticks during the night. Brenda Heisler won first place in the A event, Rocky Reed won second place in the A event,  Ken Holmes won first place in the B event, and Adam Pittman won first place in the C event.  "Simply Catering provided a fantastic meal," said Nelson.  "We had 10 teams for this bonspiel with 3 out of town teams including Taber, Lethbridge and Crowsnest Pass. We were thrilled with the participation and were happy with first bonspiel of the year!"

Sturling Curler Dennis Cleland
Sturling Curling is ongoing on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm and Thursdays at 3:30 pm, and though it is aimed at an older crowd people of all ages are welcome. Sturling curling is slide or stick curling, and use of the stick can be beneficial to older people, and those with limited mobility, enabling them to play the game with less physical stress. It uses a more traditional three-rock rule rather than the free guard zone or four rock rule.  Teams are composed of two people, and there's no need to switch ends.

Melva Cleland
2011 Sturling Curling Champion Dennis Cleland lived in Pincher Creek back the 1950s and 60s, and returned to live here from Brooks in June of this year. "Back in 2011 Brooks hosted the Alberta Playdown, a provincial sturling curling competition," explained Cleland. "My partner and I just happened to win it. From there on we went to all kinds of Bonspiels, and put our two cents in." Dennis' wife Melva also mentioned that he went to a BC town near Abbotsford to compete in the Canadian Championships. "We weren't too successful there," said Cleland. Cleland has been Sturling Curling ever since he was nine years old, and has participated in regular curling from the tender age of thirteen.

"It doesn't change curling at all," said his relative Garry Cleland of the sturling curling experience. "Even the feel of the turns is the same."

"We're trying to start a senior league, which would start at 50 years or older," said Melva. "So far we have six teams. Its a start, because they didn't have it before at all."

*corrected for accuracy

Upcoming Bonspiels at the Pincher Creek Curling Club:
  • New and Used (two participants under the age of 18 and two over) - December 12 to 13, 2015
  • Combo (Ladies and Mens) - January 22-24, 2016
  • Town and Country (any combination beginners welcome) February 8 to 14, 2016

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