With the goal of promoting and developing youth curling in the city, Curl Moose Jaw has developed their first initiative this weekend.
The group is hosting a youth camp and coaching clinic this Saturday and Sunday at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre with kids aged 5-17 taking part.
“It is an opportunity to check out what curling is all about and for some of the kids that do curl regularly, it gives them an opportunity to get that high performance feeling of looking at the delivery and working on a few things,” said Curl Moose Jaw executive Danielle Sicinski.
There will also be a stopwatch speed trap in place so that participants get the feeling of being in a game and what all the equipment used does for curlers.
“A lot of things are out there about curling, so we want people to see that they can do it and there are things people work on and it is not just about throwing rocks at the house,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what experience you have, it is going to be a good event for all of them.”
There will be celebrity instructors that will be coming in, but Sicinski is keeping that secret.
“We are keeping it a surprise for the kids, but there will be some people that have represented Saskatchewan and Canada at the curling level,” she said. “A lot of these folks that we will be having are coaches and are certified. We also have curlers that are coming in that have gone through high performance training. It will be a lot of fun for the kids to work with these instructors that we have coming in. They will be able to chip away at their brains, get ideas and learn a few things.”
Sicinski is especially excited for this type of an event, because when she was younger, she went to a youth camp in the Yorkton area and had the opportunity to learn about the game and appreciate the sport of curling.
“The timing is right, even though it is at the end of the season, I think it is a great opportunity for the kids that don’t curl so they can try and sign up for it in the fall,” she said. “The Saskatchewan Curling Association has always tried to promote grassroots and the youth level with these camps.”
There will be 40 kids at the Saturday event and 20 kids at the Sunday event and there will also be some five-year olds taking part and curling for their first time.
“This works out better and with the numbers we have, we are able to keep the groups small and the kids will get the opportunity to get the almost one-on-one attention,” she explained. “We do have a couple five-year olds coming out, which will be a lot of fun since it will be their first time out on the ice.”
The camp was also open to surrounding communities and some rural curlers are taking advantage, which is also a positive for Curl Moose Jaw to see.
“It is exciting to connect with some of these surrounding communities to come in and I think it is a great opportunity to showcase Moose Jaw and as well as to go back to those surrounding communities to enhance their skills,” said Sicinski.
Throughout the weekend as well, Curl Moose Jaw is putting on a coaching clinic for those that are interested in getting certified with the Saskatchewan Curling Association.
“We have about 15 people signed up to participate in that competition introduction clinic, which is fabulous,” she said. “By taking that course and go through the whole process to get certified, it will allow them to start taking some teams to the junior and juvenile provincials.”
There will also be an up close and personal meeting each afternoon where the kids can ask the instructors questions and listen how they got their start and about their experiences.
“This will be an amazing experience for everyone involved and the instructors will be bringing some little keepsake items for the kids to look at,” said Sicinski.