Ponoka’s junior curlers got into the spirit of the sweep at their home bonspiel Feb. 4.
From elementary school age to about Grade 7 for the younger teams and from Grade 8 to about Grade 10 were the older curlers, explained organizer Don Lysons. He’s one of the coaches for the junior teams and his hope is to see the young curlers grow from the experience.
For the younger ones, “this may be their first year or second year curling,” said Lysons.
“They’re just learning the techniques and haven’t refined their craft so-to-speak.”
For the older curlers the spiel is about getting some much-needed experience at a tournament. Other teams competing were right up in similar skill levels with the home rinks, which was by design, said Lysons. The goal is to give the athletes a challenge to help up their game.
The youth program is held every Wednesday afternoon and has about 25 to 30 kids involved. He enjoys knowing that curling is not a contact sport while still bringing team sports and competition. “It’s a family event.”
For the younger teams curling brings some skill sets that hone communication, team spirit and physical activity at the same time.
While the focus wasn’t necessarily on the standings, there was a Ponoka rink that made it to the B-finals. Emily David’s rink competed in the B-finals but could’t manage a win.
“That’s the point of this. Learning how to win. Learning how to lose. Learning how to compete and learning how to be a good teammate,” said Lysons.
He added his gratitude to the sponsors for coming together to make the event possible.