Rossland's Junior Curling Program
The four young curlers pictured above celebrated being the “most improved” during skills testing at their last session of the season in the Rossland Curling Club. Teams competed in three one-day Bonspiels at Rossland, Trail, and Nelson.
About the Junior Curling Program:
The Junior Curling Program is free for the kids, which is only possible through support from the Rossland Curling Club and many volunteers. The Rossland Curling Club provides free use of the facility and the ice for the weekly program and the Annual Bonspiel as well as providing free ice making for the program.
All our Coaches are volunteers – Don Vinish, Jeff Ross, Mike Gardner, Adam King, and Monica Amann, one of our alumni who is now in grade 12 and volunteers each week to coach our junior curlers. Sara Mountain volunteers to provide public relations, registration, communication, Bonspiel planning and organization.
The Season Schedule:
Practice sessions happen every Wednesday right after school in the curling rink, with 25 to 30 participants; most of the kids walk over directly from school. The season usually runs from the first week of November until the end of February, depending when the ice is put in and taken out. The kids are encouraged to come and try it out for the first few weeks before committing to the full season.
There are junior curling clubs in Trail, Castlegar, Nelson, Salmo, and Grand Forks. A Spokane group has been in touch this year too, as they have junior kids who are looking for teams to play.
Volunteer Coach Don Vinish says, “We run the program for children age 8 and over — it’s an adventure in learning to participate in a curling game. Over the years we have had steady growth in numbers. Attending our Rossland Junior Bonspiel (Curling tournament), we had 20 juniors participating. While not all the children participate, and there are two other bonspiels (Trail & Nelson), it gives them the idea of competition and sportsmanship. We teach them the basics and watch them grow! The program is free as we are volunteers who love the game and want to see the sport perpetuated.”
When young curlers reach the age of 15, they move up to adult curling.
It was Don’s enthusiasm for curling that got Rossland’s Junior Curling program started. Of course, as time goes on, more volunteer coaches will be needed to help introduce local youngsters to the game.