Learning to Curl Is Fun For Adults Too

Nugget Column #02 – Tuesday September 27th, 2016

Here’s a questions for the curlers who are reading this column: how did you get introduced to curling?

If you’ve been curling for some time now, it’s likely that you have a parent or spouse that is or was a curler, or perhaps you “tried it once” at a work event or in high school. When you started curling you were placed on a team with experienced curlers, for whom you were the opening rock thrower. It was often customary for new curlers to join a team with little to no formal training and play Lead while picking up the technique, strategy and etiquettes as they go. As the player improved and seasons passed, the persistent would move up the team rankings making room for new beginners. The discouraged would never be seen again.

But If your introduction to curling came in the past handful of years, it may have been a much more accommodating process thanks to the efforts of Curling Canada, its provincial bodies, and member clubs, who upon observing a general lack of business principles across the industry and have taken steps towards addressing these shortfalls with initiatives such as “Business of Curling Program”.

Since its inception, the Business of Curling Program has forced many curling clubs to really think about what they do, how they do it, why they do it, and whether it’s working. So many new ideas surfaced from the sharing of information and experiences from club to club that the governing bodies of curling are now launching successful, nation-wide programs to help revitalize the sport.

With societal changes occurring in every new generation, the same old approach was losing effectiveness with every new season. Today’s potential new curlers, we were being told, wanted to 1. Play with their friends; not be assigned to a team of strangers. 2. Play, or at least try, all positions. 3. Play with and against people of similar ability and 4. Be given a supportive environment where they could learn to curl with proper instruction.

From these discoveries was born a hugely successful program titled “Getting Started For Adults”; an instruction-based program that, un-like the traditional one-day clinic, helps entry level and novice curlers become progressively better through continued weekly instruction and skill development.

The first program started at the Ottawa Curling Club in 2006 and today thousands of new curlers are introduced to the sport every year through what is now more popularly known as “Adult Learn to Curl” programs.

The North Bay Granite Club recruited forty new members through their Learn to Curl program last season with many of the graduates enrolling in the club’s “Rookie League” following instruction.

The club expects this program to be in even greater demand this season and is consequently offering two sessions, one on Wednesday nights from 6:30pm – 8:00pm beginning October 19th and the other running Sunday nights from 7pm – 8:30pm beginning October 23rd. The seven-week program costs $128.00 (HST inclusive) for new members. Subsequent 7-week Learn to Curl programs will be offered beginning in December, and then again in February.

For more information, please visit northbaycurling.com/learntocurl.