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Canada's largest curling club is located just north of Edmonton

Canada's largest curling club is located just north of Edmonton

From its humble beginnings in 2008, St Albert's now has 250 members across 11 leagues.

Randy Olson, president of the Alberta Stick Curling Association, is thrilled to see more people taking to the ice.

“Curling is a great sport,” Olson said. “You can play from 6 to 96. It's always on TV, and people watch it and say: ‘Well, maybe I'd like to try that.’ So, they come to the club, and we're happy to help them.”

The St. Albert Curling Club has celebrated many milestones recently, from celebrating its 75th anniversary to now becoming the largest curling club in Canada, with 250 members in 11 leagues.

Stick curling was started at the club in 2008 by Milt McDougall and eight others, and has grown by leaps and bounds since then.

“It's going fantastically,” Olson said. The association had to create two additional leagues for all members who wanted to play.

“Although the club is already full, and we may have a waiting list, there are a few people who have left the club for medical reasons. We are always looking for new members,” Olson said.

While members go to the club for winter sports, the atmosphere is another part of the experience, which is why Olson believes curling leagues continue to grow.

“[Stick-curling] He said: “It only takes an hour to play and we have a great concession here at the club. The food is good, you have it [a] Coffee, then you go and play another game. It is the relationship between both curlers. “It's really good.”

Olson said more people may want to join because of the weekly clinics on Thursdays, where he offers lessons on how to pitch and tips on improving their game.

The clinics are free, and Olson welcomes anyone interested in learning or improving their throwing skills, whether they are in the 55-plus league or not.

“There is no age limit at all, so if you are under 50 and want to play it, we will definitely let you,” he said.

The St. Albert Curling Club will be hosting the Alberta Championships March 26-28, and more players are expected due to the increased popularity of the sport, along with the cool Alberta jackets players will receive upon entering the tournament.

“At our regional event, we have three curling divisions. We have a men's division, a co-ed division, and a women's division. Depending on which team you want to play on, it's for everyone,” Olson said.

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