SPRINGDALE, NL — A new intergenerational curling program is expected to start in Springdale as early as this week.
The Springdale Curling Club, in partnership with the town, received a $10,000 grant from the Department of Children, Seniors, and Social Development through its Community Health Living Fund for the implementation of the program that will see youth learn the sport ideally through playing with their parents or grandparents.
Susan Edison, president of the club, said volunteers from the club will help organize and teach the game. She believes it is a valuable program to build upon the success of the adult program and help ensure its sustainability in the community by attracting youth to the sport.
“We wanted to be proactive about getting young people involved in the club,” Edison said. “Hockey is a very expensive sport, and not all people can afford it. There are some children out there intimidated by that, and some parents who are intimidated by that, so in this case it is totally funded.”
With eight women’s teams in the club and six men’s teams, the president said it is hoping to find young interest to ensure its numbers stay healthy in the years to come.
The grant was for curling equipment to help with the program. Primarily, the sport will be learned using 20-pound rocks as opposed to the 40-pound ones normally used. The lighter stones are ideal for both the young and elderly participants. There are also aids available for those unable to get low to throw the rocks.
Edison said they are hoping to have the program on Friday nights, but it may be Saturday or Sunday, depending on the interest and availability of the participants. It can accommodate four full teams, and the search is underway to find participants. Edison said the ideal age for youth is Grades 4-6.
There is also a healthy eating component to the program.
The IceCap Youth Centre currently organizes a junior curling program in the town.