In the world of competitive curling, the ALBERTA SCOTTIES TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS is one of the most exciting events an Alberta curling fan can hope to attend, or view: twelve teams of female curlers, vying for the top spot in Alberta that will take them to the National championships.
The Leduc Curling Club and the City of Leduc are proud and excited to welcome the 2012 Alberta Scotties to the Leduc Recreation Centre’s Sobey’s Arena, from Wednesday, January 25 to Sunday, January 29. Hosting this event is quite a coup: it brings hundreds of visitors to our region, and while the tournament games will be broadcasted by LeducRadio.com and the two final games televised on Shaw-TV, the Leduc name will be highlighted to thousands of internet and TV viewers. A good thing for City of Leduc marketing, and economy! In preparing for this defining event in Alberta curling history, the Sobey’s Arena at the LRC has re-built the west side bleachers and created four curling sheets. This will also be the first event to showcase a new, state-of-the-art and spacious press box.
The Leduc Curling Club’s viewing area will become the Scotties lounge, showcasing a large flat screen TV featuring LeducRadio’s broadcast of its live feed of all the regular Scotties games.
The 2011 Alberta Scotties Tournament was hosted in the City of Camrose. Media reports and fan feedback tell us that the execution of this tournament was flawless, the Arena hospitality and semantics were excellent, the house packed, and the overall feedback on the event was extremely positive. We anticipate that the Sobey’s Arena and the LRC (Leduc Recreation Centre) management will “pull up their socks”, and contribute to a grand delivery of this major sports event.
Past Provincial Champions for 2011 were as follows: Shannon Kleibrink, Amy Nixon, Bronwen Webster, Chelsey Bell, of the Calgary Winter Club. And for 2010, Valerie Sweeting, Megan Einarson, Whitney More, Lindsay Makichuk and Coach Carmen Einarson, of the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton.
To enhance your viewing pleasure of this exciting curling event, here is a guide of the top six 2012 Alberta Scotties contenders:
1. Team Kleibrink: Shannon Kleibrink, Amy Nixon, Carolyn Darbyshire-McRorie, Chelsey Matson and Coach Daryl Nixon representing the Glencoe from Calgary.
2. Team Nedohin: Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair, Laine Peters, Heather Nedohin and Coach Darryl Horne representing Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton.
3. Team Bernard: Left to Right, Coach Terry Meek, Cheryl Bernard, Susan O'Connor, Lori Olson-Johns, Jennifer Sadleir representing Calgary Curling Club and Glencoe Club in Calgary. An interesting tidbit is that Lori, the new addition to the Bernard Team, is the daughter of Leduc Curling Club manager Randy Olson and event co-chair Ruby Olson.
4. Team Webster: Crystal Webster, Erin Carmody, Geri-Lynn Ramsay, Samantha Preston and Coach Mark Johnson representing the Glencoe Club in Calgary.
5. Team Sweeting – Val Sweeting, Leslie Rogers, Joanne Taylor, Rachel Pidherny and Coach Les Rogers representing the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton. Val Sweeting was the skip of the 2010 Scotties winning team.
6. Team Wanechko: Candace Wanechko, Natalie Hughes, Kara Lindholm, Kandace Lindholm, 5th player Dana Ferguson and coach Neil Fenske representing the Ellerslie Curling Club in Edmonton.
The Organizing Committee boasts 30 members and is headed by two dynamic ladies and co-chairs, Fay Crone and Dawn Gavin, long-time curlers and Leduc residents.
An interesting point of provincial curling history (for our Leduc region curling fans) is that the 2006 Alberta Scotties winning team was comprised of Cathy King, Lori Amitstead, Raylene Rocque, Tracy Bush, represented the Saville Centre in Edmonton, and their coach was… Randy Olson of the Leduc Curling Club! Some attractive Scotties apparel is for sale at a display table the Leduc Curling Club Pro Shop (in the center of the LRC), and seems to be quite reasonably priced. This writer has her eye on a white, arctic wear hoodie…
The first game of the 2012 Alberta Scotties is scheduled for Wednesday January 25th at 9:30 am. That day, the opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 5:30, and tickets are available for that event as well. The price of the Alberta Scotties’ regular games is a budget-friendly $12 and the Silver and Gold Game tickets are $18. At press time, we didn’t know the latest update on available tickets, but we do know that there are two ways to secure tickets: on the Internet, via the www.leduccurling.ca website, and through direct sales at the Leduc Curling Club at the LRC.
The Alberta Scotties will showcase mostly experienced teams, but one team is new to the Tournament: Team Wanechko of the Ellerslie Club in Edmonton will savour the excitement of such a top-level curling event, and draw attention to itself by its ‘newbie’ status. If you cannot attend the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, you’ll be able to catch it on the Net via LeducRadio.com, and through the Shaw-televised Silver Game (Sunday 9:30am) and Gold Game (Sunday 2pm). The Closing Ceremonies will follow the Gold Game and will feature a bagpiper escorting the teams into the arena, the presentation of the coveted trophy to the winning team. Curling fans attending the Gold Game will be able to remain in their seats to enjoy the closing ceremonies.
The next step on this achievement road is the National Women’s Curling Championships, the SCOTTIES Tournament of Hearts to take place at the Westerner Park in Red Deer, February 18-26. For now, enjoy the Alberta Scotties in Leduc, curling fans!