Swift Current residents will soon have a new outdoor recreation opportunity available for the winter months.
The City of Swift Current is currently constructing a crokicurl rink in Riverdene Park where the hybrid of crokinole and curling will be available.
“It’s exciting. I think it will be well used. Curling is pretty popular here in Swift Current. I think, especially with COVID, activities are going to need to be outside, so I think there is some good opportunity for it,” said Chris Keleher, Community Recreation Coordinator, City of Swift Current.
The truly Canadian game originated in Winnipeg in 2016-17 and has seen rinks pop up in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Estevan, Moose Jaw, and Gull Lake in recent years.
“I think it’s been discussed for a little bit. Then it all kind of came together for 2020, that was probably the initial plan. I think with the times we’re in with COVID, some of the outdoor activities and winter activities moving outside, this will be a good opportunity for the sport to take off. We’re pretty confident it is going to be a hit here,” explained Keleher.
The game is contested between two teams of two players, but can also be played one-on-one. Just like curling and crokinole, points are awarded for rocks that are closest to the button. The rink is an octagonal shape and also includes eight ‘pegs’ in the middle to complicate reaching the button.
“We’ll have some signage posted with the rules and how to keep score, and obviously our COVID guidelines and that sort of thing,” said Keleher.
Keleher said that different cities have used anything from curling rocks, to tires, to Tim Hortons coffee canisters, but that they have put together their own rocks for use.
“We looked at the rocks, but the cost for those didn’t make sense for us to put the investment on junior curling stones. We could kind of do our own thing for a lot less.”
Everything needed to play a game of crokicurl will be available at the rink, which is on the northwest side of Sheldon Kennedy Rink in Riverdene Park.
“What we have is a storage unit type of thing. The stones will be there. We’ll have scorecards there as well. The hours of the rink will be the same as the outdoor rinks,” said Keleher.
“If folks want to play, assuming that there’s not already a game going on, then the stones and scorecards will be there in the storage bin. They will be sanitized after each use, so they can come and play,” he added.
With recent weather developments, the Parks Department is hoping to have the outdoor rinks and the crokicurl rink ready to go the week of Christmas. “I know we’re going to start to get cold here come this weekend so we’re going to be probably on par for that right around Christmas day,” said Keleher.