STOUGHTON - Stoughton youth curlers enjoyed some great tips from curlers Kirk Muyres, Laura Walker and Dustin Mikush.
On Jan. 19, 40 kids ranging from five to 16 years of age gathered at 3:30 p.m. at the Stoughton Curling Rink to meet the famous athletes.
Stoughton was one of their stops on the Corr Grain Community Rocks Curling Tour. They also visited Gravelbourg and Assiniboia curling clubs. Muyres and Walker were very pleased with the response.
Muyres said he feels it is important to visit the rural communities and show the kids that curling is not only fun, but that one can go places with it. Doing these tours has widely increased the participation of youngsters in curling.
Mikush from Curlsask also joined the team in helping out and is a long-time friend of Muyres, who is a 32-year-old former Canadian junior champion curler who loves his job.
Muyres has been in seven Briers and received a bronze on the men’s curling team in 2015 and 2021 while representing Saskatchewan.
He lived in Ottawa, Ontario for a brief time, but has returned to his home province and now lives in Humboldt.
Walker was raised in Toronto, but has lived in Edmonton for quite some time.
She is a two-time Canadian university curling champion, a national champion and a world junior silver Medalist.
The pair has been in a mixed doubles duo for five years and are ranked third in the world. There are over 300 teams in this competition, but Muyres said, there could be up to 500 teams.
It is a fast-moving and exciting game to play, according to Muyres.
Muyres and Walker won the gold in 2018 at the Canadian Mixed Doubles in Leduc, Alta., a bronze in 2019 in Fredericton and a bronze in 2018 at the World Mixed Doubles in Ostersund, Sweden.
When the trio went on the Stoughton ice, they taught the kids how to hold their brush, how to get the best out of a rock and how to sweep.
The kids were eager to gather around the stars and soak up all the information, but most of all Muyres and Walker want the kids to have fun, so the youths keep coming back.
Muyres and Walkers focus will now be on the 2026 Olympics in Italy, and to get better every day.
The pair needs as many wins as possible to be selected in the top 16 teams in 2025. Around 120 pairs will try to gain entrance into the top 16, and only one team will have the honour to represent Canada in Italy.
They feel that their chances of gaining this achievement are good. It will take dedication and hard work, but they said it is something they would love to do.
At the end of the two hours of curling, the kids had a chance to get that photo op with the stars and once that was completed, they enjoyed some refreshments and pizza.
The kids also had the chance to check out the medals that the pair has won over the years and take home a few prizes. Many parents attended the event as well.