Skip to content

New program by Pidherney Centre teaches kids the basics of curling

They’ve been to four schools so far
Elementary school kids learn the basics of curling in their gymnasium at St. Martin de Porres elementary school from volunteers from the Pidherney Centre. (Photo by St. Martin de Porres School/ Facebook)

The Pidherney Centre is doing its part to increase interest in curling.

Since the beginning of the new year, volunteers have taken time out of their day to teach kids at elementary and middle schools in Red Deer the basics of the sport in an effort to get more youth interested in curling.

During the sessions in each school’s gymnasium, the younglings learn how to throw curling rocks with wheels on the bottom and sweep onto a vinyl curling house. The ‘floor curl’ setup is meant to simulate the real game.

Lynne Entz, a member of the centre’s board of directors, said they’re trying to show them that curling is available in Red Deer.

“When we go to the schools they don’t even know curling is a sport. They just have no idea.,” she said. “We’re just trying the kids to a sport that’s out there that is a little less expensive that other ones.”

Unfortunately, she’s even had to turn some schools down because of a lack of volunteers. So far, they’ve done well but they need at least four volunteers in each gym to make it work and sometimes that’s been a challenge.

Entz and other volunteers have been to four schools so far and plan to visit 10 more schools by the end of March. The main objective is to get the kids comfortable enough with curling to want to join the league next season.

The commitment isn’t a huge one to make as she said they only meet one night a week to curl during the season.

After a couple of sponsor contributions this season from Olymel and the Red Deer Optimist Club, shoe and broom rentals were covered as well as some food costs. The fees that are paid by the participants, which is approximately $220, go towards ice time and dinner which happens on Monday evenings for children aged nine to 18.

Those interested in joining are encouraged to make a leap of faith and give it a try.

“It’s inexpensive and you never know if you’ll enjoy it. It’s also a sport that anybody can play,” she added.

Registration for next year will open up in the summer.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
Read more