The Ryley curling rink, which was built in 1980, is an arch rib building with a wood decking interior and contains three sheets of ice. It is operated by a volunteer board and the number of members and curling teams fluctuates from season to season. Over the years, volunteers have taken the positions of President, Secretary, Treasurer and Draw Master. Throughout the earlier years, the job of making the ice has been done by a group of volunteers, spearheaded by the ice caretaker. For the first few years, when the facility was new, this was spearheaded by Dale Winsnes and Bruce Peterson. However, in recent years, Doug Hardy, from Tofield, has supplied his ice painting equipment, so fewer volunteers are required. After the ice was put in, the curling club was able to hire the services of various individuals for the caretaker and janitor positions. For several years, Pete Dueck acted as the facility caretaker and then for several years, Bruce Peterson took on that role. This entailed maintaining the ice, doing building maintenance and janitorial services. After Pete, and then Bruce, retired, Ken Reid, Perry Story and Doug Herrick each took a turn at looking after the ice and maintaining the building. The janitorial services were picked up by volunteers or part time employees. Due to declining numbers of curlers and a shortage of funds, for the past ten years, Dale Winsnes has volunteered his services as ice caretaker. For the last two years, Lorne Berkholder, has assisted with this position. The maintenance has been done by various volunteers and the club has paid a janitor to clean the lobby and upstairs lounge.
Throughout his volunteer years, Dale has also instructed an after school curling program for students of all ages. The afternoon program is also open to any adults who want to learn to curl, or just want some extra coaching. For two years, Gary Pepper joined the program as a certified coach, and students Tim O’Shea, Brandon Pope, Reegan Dewart and Bryce Pope were successful in achieving a Northern Alberta Curling Association (NACA) banner as the Juvenile Champions. The rink displays several other NACA banners that honor the winnings of Robin Knudslien, Trudy Winsnes and Jennilee Goertzen at Alberta Junior Provincials, and Dale Winsnes at the Alberta Seniors level. In recent years, Patrick Manderson and Charlotte Thompson have assisted with the after school program.
In the earlier years, in the student curling program, Darryl Albrecht also coached several boys teams in competitions. After leaving Ryley, Warren Kushnir and Larry Gardeski, students of Darryl’s, went on to achieve the highest provincial and national championships available. When Darryl passed away, in 1992, his family donated a display case, with his collection of curling awards, to the rink.
Welcomes new members. Curling is a major social program for the community during the winter months. The rink is then used throughout the summer for various recreation functions.
Depending on the number of people who register, the curling nights will be set accordingly. People can enter as individuals or teams. Male, female, family, and mixed teams are all welcome. If people register as individuals, they will be put together with others to form a team.
In 2017 the Village of Ryley in partnership with the Ryley Curling Club and Clean Harbors has committed to replacing the ice plant within the facility guaranteeing many more year of great curling action in the community and surrounding area. Late 2018 this project was completed and is up and running.
For more information on the Curling Club or to register please contact Patrick Manderson at (780)497-8889.