Some of the volunteer coaches were some of the Hope Curling Club’s youngest members, eager to show their peers how to curl. Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard

Kids with brooms: Coaches brush up on teaching kids to curl

Hope’s curlers learn to teach the next generation of rock throwers

Hope’s curling coaches were busy brushing up on their teaching skills on Saturday, under the guidance of an instructor sent by Curl BC.

Al Kersey, from Strider Education Legacies Youth Curling Development, spent the day teaching the volunteer coaches some tips and tricks. Near the end of the day, a Learn To Curl for Youth event was planned so that the coaches could practice their new skills immediately.

Some of the 20 or so youth who came out had already been to Learn to Curl sessions in the past, but as curler Kent McKinnon told them with a laugh, they’d just been winging it.

“Thanks for coming,” he said. “Now we can test out the stuff we’ve just learned.”

But that’s not the case anymore. Kersey led the whole group as they first learned to stand with the broom at the edge of the rink. Then, with their hands placed just right, they learned to sweep the ice.

With all of that sorted, the kids were shown how to move down the long sheets of ice, sweeping the ice as they went. On the next pass, they learned how to hurry. And finally, how to hurry hard.

Kersey is contracted by Curl BC to go around to different clubs and teach coaches how to coach. The hope is to increase the love of curling in each community, and by making curling rinks a welcoming place for youth who want to give it a try.

READ MORE: Room for everyone at the Hope Curling Club

This is the 60th anniversary of the Hope Curling Club, and the club’s goal is to get as many people through their doors as possible. The excitement that’s built up around curling in general is helping with that already. But several events are planned this season that should help even more.

Saturday’s training session was one step. They’ll also hold a bonspiel at the end of November, and the Provincial Mixed Doubles Championships in March.

For those who already know how to curl, there are several leagues to join. There’s the Monday Night Mens League, Tuesday Night Mixed Doubles, Wednesday Afternoon Drop-In Curling, Wednesday Night Mixed and Thursday Night Open Mixed. Curling season began in mid-October.

The Hope Curling Club is at 1055 Sixth Ave.

For more information about learning to curl or joining the club, email info@hopecurlingclub.com

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jpeters@theprogress.com

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