The junior curling season is just around the corner, with the ice going into the Power Dodge Curling Centre at the Estevan Curling Club next weekend.
Last year’s junior program for Sundays was full and it was anticipated this year would be following that same path.
“I’d anticipate with what we have this evening and what we have at the club already, we’ll probably fill again this year,” said the centre’s Pauline Ziehl-Grimsrud at city-wide registration last week. “Our youth program, we grew last year and we’re hoping to grow again. That would be our Grade 6 to Grade 9 group, so we’re pretty pleased with that.”
They have a lot of kids that have been in programs for a long time now and are continuing in the high school level.
The youngest curlers are coming in with a renewed interest in the sport, having seen it on television or locally at the SaskTel Tankard last winter.
“We focus a lot on their understanding of the game and how we score points,” she said. “We work on their technique coming out of the hack and we have the small light rocks for them, and the smaller brooms. We really try to accommodate their size to give them an opportunity for success when they’re out on the ice.”
The youth programs are focused on skill training and play.
“Our program went quite well,” she said. “We’re really pleased and the community support has been excellent.”
There has also been a stabilization in the number of adult curlers in many of the leagues they offer for a number of years, she said.
“We’ve stayed at the same number and we’ve had some growth in certain leagues,” Ziehl-Grimsrud said. “This year we’re going to have a mixed doubles league on Tuesday nights as well as our competitive, so we’re looking for growth there. We’re hoping people will have seen that on the Olympics last year so we’re hoping to initiate that because that seems to be the up and coming thing. We’re looking forward to having that in our club.”