Curling More Popular than Ever in Moose Jaw

Robert Thomas

What is grey like concrete and has 750 people having a great time playing a game that dates back to 16th century Scotland, as well as socializing?

The answer is the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.

“I think curling does have a good future in Moose Jaw,” Danielle Sicinski, the outgoing manager of the Curling Centre said in an interview with MJ Independent.

Sicinski, who is in her final two weeks with the facility, spoke about the past season and what the future holds for curling in Moose Jaw.

See Related: Danielle Sicinski Retires From Curling Centre

“Youth numbers are starting to come up and it’s very exciting,” she said.

Presently, both school divisions, Holy Trinity Catholic and Prairie South are introducing their students to curling and it’s bringing in dividends to the Curling Centre.

“Holy Trinity, at grade five, is taking their students out to different activities and they find their activity and it’s curling and they join the youth league the next year.”

Similarly Prairie South School Division has about 150 students coming through the Curling Centre each year and many are joining the youth league.

“Lots of the kids just want to do it. They see it on tv and want to do it and they bring friends who want to curl.”

The youth leagues runs each Sunday afternoon with the Kindergarten to Grade Five leagues running each Sunday from 1 – 2 pm and the Youth League running from 2 – 3:30 pm.
The cost is $230; being a Sunday afternoon activity it's something many people can enjoy.

Numerous parents volunteer to help out, making it successful, she said.
“Parental assistance is crucial. It’s basic help but it goes a long way for those kids.”

The only requirement is that participants must show up with clean shoes, as all the other equipment is provided. Children under five also are required to wear a helmet. Youth numbers fluctuate, she said, so more participants are always welcome.

Students from university and Sask Polytechnic also get the $230 fee if they can provide valid student identification.

“We’re offering them an incentive. It’s important because it’s financially tough going to school and once a curler is gone it’s pretty hard to get them back.”

Numbers are up this year from Sask Polytechnic student curling, Sicinski said. Although she can not say for sure but not having intramural hockey this year may have well contributed to the increased numbers of curlers. Additionally, Sask Polytechnic did not run a league in the first half of the season, likely contributing to the strong numbers as well.

For people with mobility issues, the use of the stick has helped insure people can curl well past when traditionally they physically could no longer participate.

A curling stick is a major innovation in curling which allows curlers who can no longer get down to deliver stones to stand and push the stone instead. There is no sweeping in the stick league, making it ideal for people who want to come out and enjoy the game.

At age 95, former Curling Centre member Mickey Gower used the stick to continue curling for a couple of more years. But prior to this she got down and delivered her rocks the traditional way. Stick leagues consist of two-person teams.

In the 2018 – 2019 season, the stick league will expand to the first three quarters on Thursdays allowing more revenue potential.

To allow more curlers to participate, the leagues were divided into quarters. By doing so it allowed people who regularly Winter in warmer climates to participate in the first quarter before leaving for the Winter. On average, the quarterly leagues had 14.5 teams throughout the season so people interested are welcome to join.

Other teams have five or six members to allow for spares and get more people involved.

The Cash League continues strong, once a week, with a full 16 team roster.