The Leduc Curling Club was once again the host for Alberta Rocks Junior Curling Camp which ran two separate camps from August 14-17 and August 19-22. This was the 15th year that Leduc has been the home club for this event and according to Randy Olson, Leduc Curling Club Manager, each camp was full with 120 participants in each camp.
The kids were broken into six groups of 20 with four instructors for each group offering a great ratio of instructors to students. Participants were primarily from Alberta, but also many came from all across the country. Olson continued by saying an event like this is really all about the kids, encouraging them to enjoy the sport of curling, hopefully for the rest of their lives. He said that this event offers a lot of fun activities for the kids to part-take in both on and off the ice making it a social event.
Olson says the LRC is such a fantastic facility and the Leduc Curling Club has one of the finest curling facilities in Alberta and it’s been a pleasure to be involved as manager. He’s enjoyed teaching here for over 10 years as an instructor and now he gets to continue instructing as well as manage.
The Alberta Rocks Camp offers six levels of instruction offered by top instructors based on the information given on the registration forms and included video analysis of delivery, sweeping, strategy, rules, sport psychology, mental preparation, game situations and fitness training. The registrants were treated to some big names in curling as Cori Morris and Cheryl Bernard (Team Canada Womens Silver Medallist) came to speak to the kids as well as Marc Kennedy (Team Canada Mens Gold Medallist). You couldn’t wipe the smiles off some of the kids as they stood in line to get autographs and pictures and a chance to hold an Olympic Medal.
After signing autographs at Alberta Rocks, I caught up with Marc Kennedy. He said he didn’t have a whole lot of time with the kids, but he gave them some pointers on sweeping technique. He said the sport of curling has changed a lot over the last ten years and it’s important to let the kids know that there are more opportunities out there now. He continued by saying that it’s more difficult now, so he stressed to the kids what it takes to get to the next level. He shared with them what it takes from a work ethic point of view. He said its nice to come out and show them it is possible. He commented that he participated in this camp and it is important that these kids can see that it is possible to succeed in curling.
During the Alberta Rocks Camp I also had the chance to speak with James Dang, Chairman of the 2011 Junior Curling Championship in Calgary. He shared that there are 13 Junior Mens & 13 Junior Womens teams that will qualify from all across Canada that will compete for top spot in the country over nine days in Calgary beginning January 29. The top Junior Mens & Womens teams will represent Canada at the World Championships. Dang was a volunteer at the Alberta Rocks Camp and encouraged M & M Meat Shops to support the camp by providing tshirts for every participant in the camp in an effort to promote the Canadian Junior Championships.
This article has been republished with permission from author Nadine Leming and the Pipestone Flyer.