WESTLOCK — Village of Clyde stick-curling guru Danny Shank can now add the title of provincial champion to his list of accomplishments, after winning the mixed event at the 2023 Alberta Stick Curling Championships.
Shank and his partner Sharon Christenson of Morinville claimed the title and bested 11 teams during the two-day event Feb. 10-12 in Spruce Grove.
“It’s my first time as a provincial winner. I’m way up on Cloud 9,” said Shank.
In the playoff round, Shank and Christenson won their semifinal against Team Reinhardt 6-3, before claiming gold with a 5-1 victory over Team Germsheid — both teams from St. Albert.
“Sharon really stepped up her game. She made all her (rocks) and put the pressure on them and I had to maintain and keep everything clean,” he said.
Shank, who has curled for 59 years is a 40-year member with the Westlock Curling Club but also curls out of Morinville, was introduced to stick curling four years ago and spoke about the “fun yet competitive” sport and noted similarities between it and traditional curling.
“It’s virtually the same but there’s no sweeping or very little sweeping involved,” he said, noting the game is played with six rocks and six ends instead of the usual eight and eight. “Anybody that has an injury to a knee or an ankle, if you can’t bend and you still want to curl, you can stick curl,” he said.
The duo will now head to the 2023 Canadian Stick Curling Championships March 29 to April 2 in Nanaimo, B.C.
“I’m very excited,” said Shank. “It’ll probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we’re pumped.”