By YVONNE DICK
The atmosphere was cold even though the action was hot last weekend at the Ponoka Curling Club.
The Kid’s Curling League saw 10 teams take to the ice Saturday morning: five from Ponoka, three from Stettler, and two from Usona in a fun, three-game contest to match their skills against their peers.
“The younger ones are learning, and having fun, and getting exercise — it’s all great,” said club member Barry Neath.
Now in its fourth year, the competition has seen the number of kids curling nearly double from 25 in last year to 52 this year.
“The parents are really into it too,” Neath said. “It’s a reasonable price; you pay $50 for four months of curling. The kids are wanting to do something that isn’t expensive.”
All younger curling players took home a prize pack of stress ball, water bottle and Cheezies.
Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday, Juvenile Competitive Curling was on the ice, with cash prizes waiting for the winners. With nine teams in the bonspiel, it was a bit more intense than the morning Kid’s Curling.
“They’re all watching it on TV, a lot of them really get into it,” Neath said. “The Stettler teams have uniforms, sponsored by Tim Hortons, and we are just in the process of working with Tim Hortons to become a major sponsor here. The 16- to 18-year-olds are into competitive curling, for cash prizes.”
At the end of the jam-packed weekend on ice, local rinks won twice. In the A event, Lindsay Thurber of Red Deer won, St. Augustine took the B event, and in the C event Ponoka Composite High School won.