Youth enjoy a rockin’ good time

Influx of young curlers helping to rejuvenate the Ponoka Curling Club

By Dale Cory

Judging from the smiling faces, it’s obvious the young curlers participating in the Kids Learn to Curl program are enjoying themselves.

“I’m out here because it’s fun, and it’s very interesting,” says new curler Cassidy Campbell. “I don’t usually go on the ice, so this is helping my balance.”

Even though they had just completed a full day of classes in elementary and middle school, the 48 kids signed up to take part in the Learn to Curl program were ‘back in class’ Nov. 24, eager to learn more about a sport which produced gold and silver medals — both by Albertans — at the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver.

“The main positive thing about curling in Ponoka is that the kids want to curl,” says organizer Barry Neath. “All of our sheets are full. We’re at about 16 second- and third-year kids, and all the rest are brand new curlers just learning the game. They are all doing well. We’re extremely happy.”

The new curlers, ranging in age from seven to 14-years, attend curling classes every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex, learning the finer points about the game from some of the veteran curlers in the club.

“We try to get them comfortable with walking up and down the ice, sliding out with the rock, and controlling the rock,” says Neath. “We teach them the in-turn and the out-turn and how to aim at the broom.

“They get to the point where they can throw the rocks all the way down the ice, then they start playing games after Christmas.”

Campbell, 10, is one of those first-year curlers. Campbell fell off her horse three months ago, breaking her wrist. She fell again while skating recently, and re-injured the wrist. So, being out on the curling ice is giving Campbell some much-needed confidence.

“She couldn’t even walk out onto the ice the first time. Now, she’s out there going like crazy,” says Neath, who has taken a particular interest is seeing young Cassidy learn more about a game that is part athletics, and part chess on ice. “It’s an excellent program and good for the young kids. It’s great to see them out there.”

Campbell was attending her fourth curling session Nov. 24, and is confident she can talk curling strategy with the likes of Olympians Kevin Martin and Cheryl Bernard.

“I know how to do the out-turn and in-turn from watching the Olympics on TV. My dad is a good curler, and so is my whole family,” says Cassidy. “Sliding with the rock is getting easier. The toughest part is the sliding.”

So, has the Ponoka Curling Club gained a lifelong member in Cassidy Campbell?

“Yes. I think I’m going to keep going with it. It’s really fun.”

For more information on the Ponoka Curling Club’s Learn to Curl program, call Neath at 403-783-7410.

Just Posted

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Rimbey RCMP need help identifying vandals

Plus, GPS in stolen vehicle helps locate it and the suspect in Red Deer

Ponoka Chamber to host election forum

All-candidates forum for Lacombe-Ponoka set for March 28 at the Ponoka Legion

Ponoka County $3.6 million surplus used to prepare for future

An unexpected grant carryover along with operational savings in 2018 has provided… Continue reading

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Most Read