Q&A with Brodie Wells, President, Spirit River Curling Club

Brodie Wells

How long has there been a curling club in Spirit River?
The Spirit River Curling Club has been going for at least 75 years.

What are the benefits of curling?
Curling is a very good winter activity. You are able to get out of the house and enjoy a very social sport. People are able to enjoy themselves with others and also get a good physical workout.

What equipment is needed for curling?
To enjoy curling, you must have a curling broom and clean shoes, preferably one with a good grip. Special curling shoes may be worn; however, a pair of good runners will also work. These are the two main items a curler needs, and these can be purchased at our club along with other equipment, gloves, pants, jackets, and more.

Is a curling stone similar to a bowling ball in that some people prefer their own according to feel or weight?
No. In curling, each club will have a complete set of curling rocks for each curling sheet. This would be 16 rocks per sheet, which gives each team of four people eight rocks.

How does a curler make the stone curl?
With curling the stone is directed down the sheet of ice with a left or right hand turn of the handle, which is determined by the skip of the team. The skip is the leader of the team, and he or she is the person who decides where in the house the rocks are to be placed by the other team members throwing their rocks.

Has curling changed much since it was first invented?
The game of curling has changed a lot over the years. In the beginning it was played on natural ice with corn brooms to sweep with. As years went on, indoor facilities were built and artificial ice was made by an ice technician. The corn brooms later changed to a fibre broom, which helped with the curl of the rock by warming up the ice which makes the rock slide faster down the ice.

How do teams work? Is there always room for newcomers to the sport?
Each team will consist of four players. The first player to throw two rocks is the Lead. The next player to throw two rocks is called the Second. The next player to throw two rocks is called the Third. The last player to throw the last two rocks is the Skip. A skip is the main person on the team. The skip calls the game by deciding where on the curling ice the rocks should be positioned to benefit his team in scoring the most points per end. Each game will consist of eight ends, and if at the end of each game there is a tie an extra end is played. Clubs are always looking for new curlers to join.

How intense do the bonspiels get?
Bonspiels are a time for people to get together and enjoy the sport. It is a great way to socialize and get out and get some exercise. If your team is in a more advanced league the game then gets more competitive.

Do you have a “learn to curl” program for people who are new to the game and are not quite sure if they like it or are good at it? If the person likes it and wishes to stay in the club, what is the next step?
If there is enough interest with new curlers a Learn to Curl can be set up this year to get everyone interested in curling to join us this year. We also do a juniors curling if there is enough interest after school.

Is the Spirit River Curling Club accepting new members?
We are always accepting new curlers. This year, we are holding a pre-registration with payment by December 1 to see if there is enough interest to open our curling rink. If there is enough interest, we will get things going by January 4. If anyone is interested please refer to the Spirit River Curling Club ad that was in last week’s paper for all of the contact information.


  • Location: 44 Avenue, Spirit River
  • Phone: (780) 864-8604
  • Facebook: spiritrivercurlingclub