#Curling Volunteering: Hanging Out At My Club

There was recently post on the Canadian Curling Association's website titled: Around the House: Resolve to Do More at Your Curling Club. Jean Mills has some good tips for helping out your club, including everything from thanking your ice maker, to buying a new gripper, to volunteering. Wait...curling volunteering?

Yep. I do that.

Sure, I do the big events (27 days until the Scotties!) but I also hang out at my club. A lot. I'm there twice a week curling for starters, but I also volunteer from time to time.

Because I love it.

A couple weeks ago my club, Jasper Place Curling Club, hosted the Edmonton Men's zone 1-6 Playdowns. Sounds unexciting, but remember Edmonton is home to some pretty stellar curlers. Sure, Martin and Koe have already qualified for Alberta Provincials, but there were still a few well known names at JPCC that weekend - including Appelman, Park and Ferbey. Yep, I was there to watch Ferbey get knocked out of the run to the Brier.

Appelman on the left, in Oilers colours.

Ferbey on the right, in a strange combination of beige and purple.

What do I do when I hang out at the club during these events? Usually post linescores online, answer the phone, tweet a little, watch the curling on the ice, watch the curling on the tv, chat to the club staff, chat to spectators, learn about the culture of local curling and the organizations involved - yep, I generally have a nice, low key, relaxing time.

A couple years ago I quit Sunday curling. I got my weekend back. It was relaxing. Fast forward to now* and on a Sunday you'll probably find me at JPCC setting up rocks for the wheelchair curlers that practice Sunday afternoons. After the most wonderful week volunteering at the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, it didn't take much to convince me to come help out a couple Sunday's a month. Mostly I set up rocks for the curlers, sometimes I hold the broom, usually I spend two hours yakking with an awesome and often hilariously funny group of people. I look forward to it.

This past weekend, JPCC held the Alberta Wheelchair Curling Championship. Edmonton put in two teams, made up of the same people I hang out with on Sundays, the reigning champs came up from Calgary, and a new team came from Lethbridge. I was only able to be there Thursday night and Friday, as I had to work Saturday (darn, missed the semis and final and banquet!) but as usual I had a great time. I did pretty much the same thing as for the cities (linescores, phones, chat chat chat) but it was extra fun because I knew the teams and the coaches etc. Fun times.

Calgary won. Again. One of these years we'll get'em! In the meantime I hope they go to nationals and bring back the title of Canadian champs to Alberta! I also hope the club manager hosts more events in the future because I'm kinda liking the routine!

This may not sound like the most exciting way to spend a weekend, but I really love just hanging out at the club. Someone asked me at one point if I felt at home at JPCC - most definitely yes. It does feel like home. The curling people there feel like my people. For better or for worse, they're not going to be able to get rid of me now! I'm a bit of an odd duck for sure, but hey, there are few places I would rather be on a cold day in January!

*Seriously as I'm typing this I get a call from my Team Tuesday third asking if I'll spare for his team at another club tonight. It's becoming a regular occurrence. So much for Sunday's off!