Junior Curling Keeping Youth Active

Nugget Column #09 – Tuesday November 25th, 2014

There’s still a buzz going about the club since Max Kirkpatrick and team traded in their green and white jackets for red and white on the final day of the 2015 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships.

It was a game for the highlight reel and while we would have normally been excited to view such a performance aired on national television, we were blessed with the opportunity to watch world-class curling on our very own surface. Many memories were created that will not soon be forgotten.

It was especially valuable for our next generation curlers to experience, in person, our sport at the most elite level. Many local juniors were involved from the onset of the event, playing an integral part in the opening ceremonies. As spectators they developed a renewed appreciation for curling and learned many skills that they will be integrating in their own games moving forward.

Youth of North Bay and surrounding areas have many opportunities to get involved and develop as athletes in the sport of curling.

Regardless of the sport, the most accomplished athletes get started early in life and are exposed to extraordinary resources. The keys to success therefore are found in the best-run junior programs of which we are fortunate to offer thanks to knowledgeable volunteers and supportive parents.

Our ever-popular Timbits Curling program continues to fill the rink on Mondays and Wednesdays after school with a healthy mixture of new and returning faces.

Timbits Curlers are typically in grade 8 or younger and have the ability to displace a full sized stone from one end of the ice to the other. These curlers will engage in their first competition on December 27th at the club.

High School curling teams are donated ice time on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as they practice and prepare to compete in NDA, NOSSA and OFSAA competitions. NOSSA is being hosted by West Ferris Secondary School and will take place at the Granite Club in the New Year.

New this season is a Little Rock program running Sunday afternoons. Little Rockers utilize only half a sheet of ice and throw smaller, lighter stones than do Timbits curlers.

There is room for eight young curlers in any given session and the option to participate in a 5-week or season-long session is provided.

Traditionally experienced junior curlers who seek a more competitive regimen often recruit their own coach to run practices and organize gameplay.

Team Barclay, for example, is such a group that is inspired to reach higher and accomplish more in the sport of curling. Skip Calli Barclay, Vice Cynthia Furlotte, Second Kate Sherry and Lead Sarah Pigeau are gearing up for regional junior girls playdowns this coming weekend in Coniston where they will face six other competitive rinks from Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie.

The team, who is heavily supported by parental involvement, has aligned Dave Bondett to coach them in this stage of the playdown process that provides six births to provincials in January.


Bobby Ray
General Manager
North Bay Granite Club