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House Call: Chilliwack Rocks New “Get Started in Curling” League

Nothing makes beginners feel more welcome than offering programs specifically for them, run by people who want them. That’s exactly how Chilliwack has made 28 new curlers feel at home in their brand new Get Started in Curling League.

The experienced club members have been so eager to entice new members to the club that they’ve showed up en masse to help out. To kick off the program, Bruce Renwick, General Manager of the Chilliwack Curling Club, said there were 14 club instructors out to lend a hand. While there may not be as many instructors every week for the program, there’s no better way to make newcomers feel safe and welcome than by offering plenty of one-on-one instruction.

It ‘s not a huge surprise the club members are behind the Get Started in Curling League after talking to Renwick. It’s obvious he believes in the program and is proud to offer it. His enthusiastic attitude surely trickles down to the membership.

The idea for the league was first presented to Renwick last year and it didn’t take much convincing for him to decide to start one of his own. The league is based on the Canadian Curling Association’s (CCA) Get Started in Curling League model. After seeing a presentation about the CCA’s model program, which consists of 10 weeks of instruction and short games followed by 10 weeks of pure games, Renwick decided it sounded worth trying, adding: “We’re just changing with the times…We can’t rest on our laurels. We always need new curlers coming in.”

Renwick’s willingness to take a chance and give it a try has already paid off. He’s confident once the 28 new curlers finish their season they’ll be more than ready to move into one of the many regular leagues offered.

“I think after a year they’ll be very confident and competent… and once they see all the opportunities we have for curlers they’ll want to join (the leagues and club),” said Renwick.

He’s excited to see that offering this kind of programming can breathe new life into the sport of curling by drawing droves of new curlers to his doors.

“Our sport tends to be forgotten. We’ve have to get out there and sell it. (I think) all clubs should do this.”

(Photo K. Atkinson)