Pigeon racing seems to be a bizarre hobby that turns out to be a passion of many Calgarians. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, the Calgary Racing Pigeon Club has been in running since 1904. This underground racing club has been operating in Calgary for quite some time and we're here to tell you all about it.
As for what the club is all about, the answer is in the name. They literally race pigeons.
The Calgary Racing Pigeon Club averages about 50 members each year who share a passion for long-distance pigeon racing.
This group of pigeon pals has been involved in events such as “the releasing of pigeons during the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 1994 WCB National conference, the official opening of the Chinese Cultural Center and the official opening of Fort Calgary,” according to their website.
“The club was also the host for the 2004 Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Convention which brought approximately 300 delegates from across Canada.” Yes, that's a thing.
Don't worry if you're confused about what "Pigeon Racing" even is, we were too. Club members use special pigeons aka homing pigeons, trained to return to their home. For the race, they are taken far from their home and released at the same time, the first pigeon back wins according to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.
The Calgary Racing Pigeon Club holds races that range from 100 - 500 miles in the categories of both “old bird” and “young bird,” as seen on their 2019 race schedule.
With the community in their minds and pigeons in their hearts, the club also makes annual donations to local Calgary charities.
Club members can be seen driving around in the club trucks which are fully decked out in "Calgary Racing Pigeon Club" decals. They are also known for hosting big banquets where awards and trophies are given out to the winners of the pigeon races.
We don't know about you, but we've never come across a pigeon, and thought "I should try racing that bad boy!" But hey, different strokes.
Stay tuned for a highlight on the Calgary Turtle Trapese Club next week ... just kidding.