The Grande Prairie Curling Centre has officially been named the 2022 Club of the Year, presented by Curling Alberta.
Executive Director Colin Griffith says he’s not quite sure how the club got nominated, but it’s a big honour for them.
“The board was very excited and certainly all the staff was as well. We hope to continue offering valuable entertainment and sporting options to the community. We’re glad people see that we’re trying to make a difference.”
The Grande Prairie Curling Centre is not the first local club to be honoured with the award in the last few years, as the Sexsmith Curling Club accomplished the feat in 2020. Griffith is glad to know that he and his staff are making an impact.
“Curling is not different than any other sport right now. We’re facing participation challenges and we are working on restructuring our programming in the fall. We’re doing what we can to be much more involved with socialization and recreational enjoyment of the sport. We see children as young as three or four years old and then there are people that are still curling at 94,” he says.
With a new five-year plan, in addition to working towards offering year-round services, they will continue to host many competitive events.
“As of this upcoming season, the club itself will have hosted nine major events, including three provincial events. We’ve got two more coming up this year, the Under-15 Boys and Girls Provincials and the Master Men’s and Women’s Provincials. We’re also working with the city in hosting the Hearing Life Tour Challenge as part of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, with 64 of the best teams in the world taking part,” Griffith explains.
“The decision we made is to transition from just a curling centre to what we refer to as a multi-sport centre of excellence. We have five months of the year where the ice surface is not being utilized. The city is working with us on that plan to continue to serve the community.”
Winning the award was a team effort and something that everyone involved with the local club is very proud of.
“We have a wonderful group here, with approximately 100 volunteers, an excellent staff, and a world-class icemaker that’s been with us for quite some time and will be here for at least the next few years. We feel we have a lot of the basics in place to grow and that’s what our vision is for the next number of years,” he adds.
To learn more about the Curling Centre, programs, and upcoming events, visit their website.