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PHOTO/IMAGE COURTESY:Brenda Shenton
Sturling involves pushing a curling rock with a stick. Mel and Dennis Cleland introduced the game to Pincher Creek.
November 2, 2022

Pincher Creek celebrated as Alberta’s sturling hotbed

Jenaya Launstein
Community Reporter – Shootin’ the Breeze
With the sport of sturling growing in popularity, Pincher Creek celebrates being named the sturling capital of Alberta.

It’s official — Pincher Creek is the sturling capital of Alberta.

“What is sturling?” you may ask. Invented in Didsbury, Alta., in 1998, the sport is much like the game of curling.

The biggest difference between the sports is that, in sturling, rocks are delivered with sticks or sliding, rather than exclusively sliding when curling. Other differences include sturling teams made up of two players instead of four, and games taking only one hour to complete compared to curling’s three.

Garry Cleland, Pincher Creek’s director of sturling, helped introduce the sport to the community in 2017. What began as a group of four members — Garry and his wife, Ruth, his cousins Dennis and Mel Cleland — has now turned into 58, with more on the way.

“It’s opened the game to a whole new group of people,” Garry says, adding that individuals of all abilities can play.

Garry recently reached out to Curling Alberta to inquire about how many sturling members other communities had. He was informed that Curling Alberta does not keep track of sturling statistics, but that the sport’s inventor, Carson Schultz, had all of the numbers available.

After contacting Carson, Garry found out that only one community had more members than Pincher Creek — Red Deer, with 60. However, with Red Deer’s population at just above 100,000 and Pincher Creek’s sitting below 7,000 with town and MD combined, our community has far and away the most sturlers per capita, making it the sturling capital of Alberta.

“It’s been getting very, very popular,” Garry says of the sport.

 

Group of people accepting award certificate with Legion flag on the wall in background
Brenda Shenton
Pictured from left are Marianne and Carson Schultz, Mel and Dennis Cleland, Mayor Don Anderberg, Pincher Creek Curling Club president Hayley Smith, Ruth May and husband Garry Cleland, director of Pincher Creek sturling. The group gathered Oct. 18 at the local Legion, where the mayor presented a certificate of recognition to the club for having the most sturling curling participants per capita in Alberta. Members and guests stayed afterward to enjoy dinner and socialize, planning the season ahead.

“It’s pretty impressive for a community our size,” says Mayor Don Anderberg, who has been an avid curler for many years and just started sturling. “We have great buy-in and a really enthusiastic group of people participating.”

Garry is already working on another project: getting Pincher Creek declared the sturling capital of Canada. He is in the middle of getting a formal challenge completed, which Curling Canada will then distribute to its members in December.

In the meantime, Pincher Creek’s curling club is eager to recruit more sturlers. The sport is free to try and includes an orientation so you can learn the ins and outs.

If you decide to continue after the free orientation, you can sign up for a curling membership ($40) and get your first five ice times free.

While club members get together to sturl every Tuesday and Thursday, the free trials are by appointment only. To reserve your time, give Garry a call 403-339-5040.

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Breeze stories highlight the people, events, businesses, organizations and news in Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area.

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Shootin’ the Breeze is a member in good standing of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association and News Media Canada. The Breeze receives funding through the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative and the Aid to Publishers program.
 
  Breeze news shown on newspaper, cell phone, computer screen and tablet

Breeze stories highlight the people, events, businesses, organizations and news in Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area.

  Tell us about it today button to share stories, photos and ideas We encourage our readers to share ideas for Breeze stories relevant to Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and area, and welcome submissions too!
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  Word logo for Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association  Word Logo for News Media Canada   Government of Canada wordmark
Shootin’ the Breeze is a member in good standing of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association and News Media Canada. The Breeze receives funding through the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative and the Aid to Publishers program.
 

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