MELFORT, HUDSON BAY, MELVILLE — Professional curlers Kirk Muyres and Laura Walker visited the communities of Melville, Hudson Bay and Melfort.
Kerrie Degooijer, board member of the Melfort Curling Club, said she was thrilled with the success of the event.
“We had 60 kids attend, and about 35 per cent of them had never curled before or this is their first-year curling. Kirk and Laura brought an incredible energy to the event, making it both fun and inspiring for all participants. At the conclusion, it looked like nearly everyone stood in line to get autographs from the two curling stars.”
In Hudson Bay, over 37 children aged six to 17 years old attended the event. Melville saw 45 children attend the event.
Muyres started the CORR Grain Curling Rocks tour 12 years ago. The focus was to drive participation in curling at the youth level in rural communities.
“We have been lucky over the years to visit enthusiastic clubs with excited kids. This year is no different. It is so cool to see that the roaring game is alive and well in Saskatchewan and the next generation is getting into it, like we did 20 years ago. This season marks our 37, 38th, 39th stop on the tour and it was top notch like years past!”
Muyres, originally from Saint Gregor, located east of Humboldt, said he found growing up in small towns, that rural communities did not get access to curling. The goal of the tour is to get as many youth out to the curling clubs and teach them some curling basics, but more importantly, have fun, instill work-ethic and confidence in the next generation.
“We are so appreciative of Laura and Kirk, and their sponsors, for generously bringing an opportunity like this to our community." Degooijer said. "Events like these don't come around often, so when they do, we hope all parents take full advantage of them. Every little bit of experience kids gain now is invaluable, as curling is a lifelong and social sport.
Melfort will host Curling Day in Canada Festival on Feb. 24. Degooijer said, “This is another huge opportunity for our community. So many activities planned for all ages, curlers and non-curlers!”
CORR Grain Community Rocks Tour has now visited 39 communities in Saskatchewan. Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres are currently focusing on Canadian Mixed Doubles curling rather than a men’s or women’s team event.
“We have a training camp on Feb. 4 and 5 in Edmonton, then we are off to Brantford for the Mixed Doubles Super Series Players Championship on Feb. 8 to 11. After that we will be prepping for nationals which run from March 17 to 22, 2024 in Fredericton.”
Thier goals are simple, become 2025 World Champions, become the No. 1 Team in the World Rankings, and reach the 2026 Olympics to compete for gold.
The Canadian Mixed trials will be held on Dec. 30 to Jan 4, 2025 in Liverpool, N.S.