November 4th, 2022
Located right here in Vancouver-Fairview, the Vancouver Curling Club is one of the largest curling clubs in Canada. With a wide range of programs available to people of all ages, experience levels, and ability, the club is strengthening community in the process.
I spoke with club manager (and hockey convert) Patrick Prade about what he calls the ‘truest team sport.’
Tell us about what Vancouver Curling Club offers
Patrick: For beginners, we have a 1 hour try curling program to see if they enjoy it. From there, we have a 5-week learning to curl program, and after that there are all sorts of programs and leagues for people of all ages.
We also have a blind and visually impaired league, as well as the biggest PRIDE league in all of Canada, with 180-200 curlers curling out of our club. We are also hosting wheelchair curling for the Invictus Games in 2025.
Curling sometimes gets labelled as a sport that’s not so much fun to watch, but everyone I’ve talked to who’s tried it has loved it – why is that?
Patrick: We have so many people who are curious about it, come out and try it, and love it. I was a hockey player for 28 years, then got injured. I tried curling by chance and fell in love with it.
I think it can be one of two main things. It’s a real social and community sport; half of it’s on the ice and half is on the lounge, and that makes it a lot of fun.
It’s also a lot tougher than it looks, and there’s a satisfaction that comes with improving and learning. You’re always learning about reading the ice, sweeping, and the physics and mechanics of the game – it’s fascinating.
You’re always working as a team so there’s a real sense of comradery.
Have you met any particularly memorable curlers?
Patrick: Lola Holmes – she picked up the sport here at 85 or 86, and curled until she was 102 – making her the oldest female curler in the world to date. It shows how accessible and welcoming the sport is.
How can people get involved?
Patrick: You can register for any league or program online very easily, and always phone us at 604-874-0122 if you have questions.