The Stettler ice rink will be transformed over six days for January’s 2019 Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, says organizing team member Steve Gerlitz.

The Stettler ice rink will be transformed over six days for January’s 2019 Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, says organizing team member Steve Gerlitz.

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Full Event Passes for the women’s curling championships are all but gone, but volunteer spots remain

When a community hosts a major sporting event, the only people who have more fun than the athletes are the volunteers.

Stettler will welcome Alberta’s best women’s curling teams – among the very best in the world – to the 2019 Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts Jan. 22 to 27. And there are still some opportunities for volunteers to get in on the action.

“We still need people in ice making and maintenance, security, transportation, and hospitality,” said Steve Gerlitz, president of the Stettler Curling Club and one of the Alberta Scotties organizers. Volunteers can sign up for various shifts, they can commit for the whole week, or something in between.

Once-in-a-lifetime experience

“Being from a small rural Alberta community, to volunteer for something like this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Gerlitz said. “You’re going to be involved in a total community event that’s going to see the best curlers in the world come into the town of Stettler. Just being part of the atmosphere and the excitement will be a great experience for everybody.”

Some volunteers will want to put in a couple of shifts, and others look forward to being a team driver and getting to know the team for the week.

Interest is high in festival of elite-level sport

Full Event Passes for the Scotties are sold out. A limited number of single-draw tickets will be available each day, but the tournament passes have all sold in advance. The whole event will be one big festival of elite-level sport.

The tournament’s welcoming banquet is an innovation the Stettler organizers are introducing, and Gerlitz is sure it will be a hit with the curlers and the fans. “The banquet is our chance to showcase these great athletes. It’s a chance for the community to come together, and it’s a great exciting start to the whole provincial championships,” he said. (Tickets are $50, available from Vicki, 403-741-5923.)

The conversion from hockey ice to championship curling ice will start on Jan. 16, 2019. The entire process will take roughly six days. “You’re going to see quite a transformation,” Gerlitz said.

He’s expecting an absolutely incredible five days of curling.

“Hopefully the stands for every draw are going to be full, so the atmosphere you’re going to be volunteering for is going to be fantastic,” he said. “You’re going to be part of a curling family of volunteers and I think that’s exciting!”