There's cold hard cash on the curling circuit

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:36 AM ET

There's money to be made in curling. And that's one of the reasons the Randy Ferbey rink has decided that's how they're going to make their living. Ferbey and his team hauled in a record $233,000 in earnings in the 2002-'03 season.

Starting with next weekend's $30,000 spiel at the Shamrock Club, the rink has drawn up a killer 13-weekend schedule.

Killer if they'd had other jobs to go to.

Ferbey, Dave Nedohin and Marcel Rocque have cleared their work schedules. Scott Pfeiffer will miss a couple of weekends.

"I wouldn't exactly call it turning pro,'' said Ferbey. "That would put too much pressure on us. We're just concentrating our efforts 100% to the game of curling.''

The afternoon before the 2000 provincial final in Stettler, Ferbey said he planned to retire if the team did not win the title.

The foursome went on to win four straight provincial titles, three Briers and two world titles.

Now it appears the team would like to make Ferbey's final appearance, at the 2005 Olympic trials in Halifax, a memorable one.

"It will allow us to concentrate on the Olympic trials,'' said Ferbey. "Taking this way will allow no distractions from work.''

As defending provincial champ, Ferbey has already earned a bye into the 2005 event at Innisfail. The winner will represent Alberta at the 2005 Brier in Edmonton.

"We've got some good sponsorships,'' said Ferbey. "We've also got a few other things coming together. Curling and nine-to-five is not going to happen.''

Team members also receive a monthly training stipend from Sports Canada.

Ferbey and Nedohin recently returned from Saskatchewan, where they took part in taping a future episode of Corner Gas, on CTV. That episode is expected to run some time nearer the Brier.


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