Club calls on curlers

Jim Cotter (right) talks to the Vernon Curling Club’s junior members before the start of the season Wednesday. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Jim Cotter (right) talks to the Vernon Curling Club’s junior members before the start of the season Wednesday.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

Are you a junior aged 6-17? Would you like to give curling a shot this fall for free?

The Vernon Curling Club is starting its junior program season with a free junior clinic for beginners on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. until noon.

The event is open to the public, and all interested juniors are invited to the club. Participants will receive instruction on the basics of curling, such as sweeping and delivery.

“They can then decide if they would like to join one of our junior programs,” said Jim Cotter, who represented B.C. at last year’s Tim Hortons Brier and is one of the junior coaches.

“We are positive that after you experience the fun and excitement of the ‘Roaring Game’ just once, you will want to join us for an entire season of exercise, entertainment and enjoyment.”

For younger curlers aged 6-9,  the Little Rockers program uses smaller, lighter stones to allow kids to play, and the curling rings (called the house) are painted just halfway up the sheet to make game play fun and successful.

The focus is on having lots of fun and meeting friends in a friendly atmosphere where they will learn the basic techniques of curling. Little Rockers meet twice weekly on Mondays from 3:30-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-noon., starting Saturday, Oct. 15.

Curlers aged 9-17 of any skill level can play in the junior program. At the beginning of the season, curling novices receive instruction and practise skills while more advanced juniors get started right away with game play.

Teams are created consisting of novice and advanced curlers, and they play games throughout the year.

“The focus of Vernon Curling Club’s junior program is having fun, making friends and being courteous and sportsmanlike,” said Cotter.

“Throughout the year, all curlers improve skills and receive help from our knowledgeable, friendly team of instructors. These include competitive, provincial and national-level athletes such as Dave Merklinger and T.J. Perepolkin.”

Juniors play twice weekly on Mondays 3:30-5:30 and on Saturdays 10 a.m.-noon, but can attend one, or both, each week as they please, starting Oct. 15.

Juniors simply need flexible pants, warm clothing and a clean pair of running shoes. For Little Rockers, bike or hockey helmets are recommended. Children in Little Rockers pay $50 per season, while kids and teens in the junior program pay $70 per season.

Parents can register their kids by dropping by the club or by calling the office at 250-542-6713.


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