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Southern Manitoba curling club celebrates 50 years

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For half a century, the Saint-Adolphe Rockettes have been "hurrying hard" in the curling rink.

The group of women is celebrating the milestone anniversary in 2024 – marking 50 years of friendships formed on the ice.

"A lot of people will say that – that the Rockettes are pretty unique, that there's a bond," said Cheryl Kennedy Courcelles, president of the group.

"It's a beautiful group of ladies, we're always here for each other. We're almost like the book club, but we're the curling club."

Long-time Rockette Betty Smith has been there since the beginning when two women in the community started the group.

"I joined in when I heard there was curling, I hadn't really ever curled before," said Smith. "They were willing to teach us to curl. So I said, 'Okay, let's go for it.'"

Fifty years later – Smith is still hitting the sheet with The Rockettes. She's seen the team grow and change, curlers come and go, but what has remained is the friendships.

"The camaraderie, like we get along really well and we have a lot of fun," she said.

The Rockettes meet every Tuesday at the Saint-Adolphe Curling Club. Many on the team have played for 30 years, so in Kennedy Courcelles's words, "You do get pretty darn close."

It's a bond that extends both on and off the ice.

"We've seen each other get married, have our children, have our babies; now we're into grandbabies," she said. "Sadly, we've also watched the other side of life happen to our families. But you know, we're always there for each other through thick and thin."

Kennedy Courcelles said the group is open to players of all skill levels and all ages.

"Some of our new members have started at the age 73, 74, and they've turned into incredible curlers and they are first time curlers," she said.

With 50 years on the sheet, The Rockettes are looking forward to all the games yet to be played, and all the friends they have yet to meet.

"I hope there's a lot of younger generations that will come up and join us," said Smith. 

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