Kids from the Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) are getting the chance to learn the ways of the rock and broom with the division’s Introduction to Curling: Learn to be a Little Rocker program.
Introduction to Curling starts out with two sessions of curling theory so the kids can get the terms and basics down before hitting the ice. The program, going into its fourth year, is offered to all kids from grades 4 to 6 in LCSD, and has become quite popular with the students.
“Every year we have a waiting list. Each year, we take 64 students and that’s a full curling rink with eight sheets that will have the opportunity. We have parents that come out or grandparents who curl to help on those days at the curling rink,” said Alison Fulkerth, community education co-ordinator for LCSD.
“So, there’s lots of mentorship going on through Lakeland College and our high-school curling teams that come out and help.”
Fulkerth said the idea for the program came about when they noticed there were not many high-school aged students taking up curling in the community. Feeling that curling is a lifelong sport, they decided to start Introduction to Curling to get kids interested at an earlier age.
Michayla Kirsch, a Grade 6 student who’s going into her second year with the program, said she was skeptical at first, but her friends convinced her to try it out and now she enjoys it.
“I joined because curling is fun. Last year when I first tried it, I never really wanted to, but then friends from here at Father Gorman asked me to join with them and I did and I really liked it,” she said.
Her classmate, Blaise Townsend, is trying it out for the first time and even though they have to give up their lunch hour to learn the theory, she says it’s worth it.
“My sister in my old town, they used to have a program like this and she encouraged me to join, so I thought I would,” Blaise said.
“It’s really good.”
Fulkerth said other local curlers come out to help the kids and give advice and that really adds to the strength of Introduction to Curling.
“Having those people come out and bring their sweaters and talk to the students on the ice and help them has been a great asset to our program,” she said.