ESTEVAN - CurlSask's Viterra Prairieland Curling Camp Series made it to Estevan on Nov. 18, providing young people with an opportunity to learn the basics of the sport and further their existing skills.
The workshop was developed for players ages 10-18, with sessions on technique, sweeping, strategy, singles and triples.
Jamie Regier, community development co-ordinator with CurlSask, said this is their fourth program this season. They travel to different communities in Saskatchewan to help develop the sport.
"It is designed to get curlers of any age, people that have never curled before, out to the curling club. We go through strategy, we go through sweeping, we go through delivery, go through everything, then some more strategy, and then in the afternoon, we play some games. So, we get through everything in one day, from strategy right to playing curling," Regier said.
About 20 participants from Estevan and the area joined the session. Rieger said all players have curled before and some had five to 10 years of experience.
"We go through the basic skills even with those who have been here for 10 years … but we don't have to spend a lot of time on it. With ones that haven't done it before, we spend a little bit more time. Put that all together, all the skills that they learn this afternoon, and then we play some games," Regier said.
He noted they usually get around 20-25 participants for the sessions with over 50 young curlers joining in Yorkton.
"The numbers are rising in some locations this year for junior curling … and that's good to see that kids are taking an interest in curling," Rieger said, adding that Saskatchewan curling clubs also see an increase in participation on a regular basis.
"We also offer what's called a blizzard program. It's designed for ages six to 12. At your curling club, it takes over your junior learn-to-curl program, and the sessions and lessons are already laid out, so you just have to follow along with the program. That's also a good way to get curling club member numbers up."
He noted that curling is a cheaper sport to get into, as everything from equipment to league fees is lower than some other popular Saskatchewan sports like hockey or golf.
An adult learning program is also currently being developed with more information coming.
"If anybody has any questions, feel free to reach out to CurlSask, we do have a lot of other developmental programs for curling clubs. That's a good resource. You can call the CurlSask office and we'd be happy to help," Regier said.