The Terrace Junior Curling program is heading into its third week of play, and organizer Kathie Simpson said the year is going well.
Simpson, who has been running the program for a decade, said there are 18 youths taking part this year – about five are new and the rest are returning curlers from last season.
“[We’re] really happy to see so many coming back again,” she said.
Simpson is joined by four other coaches as they donate their time on Monday nights to teach children ages 8 – 13 the ropes of curling.
Junior curlers are taught the basics of delivering a rock, sweeping, rules and strategy.
“It’s a big board game on ice,” Simpson said of the practices.
“You’re learning strategy while you’re getting physical activity.”
Practices start with a short lesson and then youths break up into teams of four to play each other.
Simpson said many youths taking part in the junior program are able to graduate out of it and move right into playing with the adult curlers.
In the past, the junior program was largely attended by the children of members of the curling club, but Simpson said that as the local curling population has aged, the junior program is reaching out to the community to find more participants.
She is trying to organize a Rocks and Rings visit to local elementary schools, where indoor curling equipment would be brought to use in school gymnasiums, offering students a chance to try curling within their schools.
This gives more youngsters a chance to try the sport, Simpson explained.
She points out that curling benefits youths in Terrace as one more activity available in the winter months, as well as a sport that has a low cost to play, as juniors are provided with almost all of the equipment needed by the Terrace Curling Club.
Teams of four are created for play and Simpson said it is fun for youths to create teams out of their friends, an option not available in all sports.
“So you can have fun in a social way,” Simpson said.
She said any youths interested in joining the junior program can call the Terrace Curling Club for more information.