–With the help of nationally and internationally acclaimed curler Lynn Kreviazuk, the Morrisburg Curling Club delivered its game to potential young curlers at Morrisburg Public and St. Mary-St. Cecilia schools on Monday. And it was a lot of fun.
Kreviazuk, 23, along with her older sister Allison and younger sister Cheryl, began curling in Ottawa in the Little Rocks program. From that start, she became a member of teams skipped by Rachel Homan, Clancy Grady and Allison Flaxey and has, under her broom, a Canada Winter Games championship, and various national championships at the Junior and Bantam curling levels.
Most recently, in February of this year, she was a member of Team Canada skipped by Breanne Menkin, who won the Universiade Silver Medal in Spain.
Monday, Kreviazuk delivered The Curling Canada Rocks and Rings program to three grades at each of Morrisburg P.S and SMSC. The program introduces curling to elementary school children by taking the curling rink to the gym in the form of FloorCurl kits which include rocks (on wheels) and target mats.
Kreviazuk, who graduated from Carleton University in December with a political science degree, has been delivering the program “as part time work throughout university.”
Having started curling at the age of six years, she recommends that children start curling at a young age in the Little Rocks program.
The Rocks and Rings program, “helps to familiarize kids with the sport,” she explains. “A lot of kids might not have any other opportunity to try it. Curling is a great sport and anybody can play…tall, short, male, female. The cost is fairly inexpensive when compared to other sports, and there is very little equipment required. Everyone and anyone can play.”
Kreviazuk was accompanied to the schools on Monday, by Morrisburg Curling Club president Ruth Kelly and club member Jack Barkley.
The Morrisburg Curling Club has been proactive in recruiting members this season, and Kelly looks forward to growing the membership in the younger age category next year.
“This year we had just Little Rocks, and next year we will have Bantam Curling,” says Kelly who is a Level Three Curling Coach and has coached at International curling levels. “Ian and Kathy Wilson have been running our Little Rocks program, and they have been very successful with it. The kids have stayed with it, and some will be graduating to bantam next year.”
Kelly too promotes the game as “an excellent sport for children. It’s full of etiquette and teaches social skills. It’s played in a safe environment and provides an overall good learning experience. Even at the young level, the curlers sit down with their opponents after a game.”
Following the presentations at the schools, Kreviazuk dropped by the Morrisburg Curling Club to meet and discuss coaching strategies with a number of club members who have volunteered to assist in the Curling Canada Getting Started for Adults program which the club will launch on Monday nights next season.
This has been prompted by Kelly who ran a casual Monday evening program for non-curlers, this past year.
“It was a casual drop in and the same group came back each week,” says Kelly. “We learned something new each week. We did one half hour of instruction and then went right into a game. Our first game took two hours to play two ends, but we continued on and it got better. Then at Christmas they all joined leagues in the club. We got 20 new members out of it.”
Kreviazuk met with would-be volunteer instructors for next season’s Getting Started for Adults program. She discussed the program and offered up various tips for coaching with emphasis and tips on how to help new curlers with balance, setup and throwing momentum.
Kelly stresses that curling clubs today, to be successful, must be proactive in attracting people to curling, and Monday’s presentations by the very talented Kreviazuk were a sweep in the right direction.