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Rocks & Rings: We’ve come a long way in three short years

Monday, 17 October 2011 - Posted by Abbie Darnley

Hi Canada! We’re very excited that the CCA has asked us to share our stories with you throughout this year.

We’ll be delivering a brand new Capital One Rocks & Rings themed post every couple of weeks with the adventures of our year. Here’s an intro and overview of Rocks & Rings to get things started.

Capital One Rocks & Rings

Capital One Rocks & Rings

Jump back to the fall of 2008 and it seems only yesterday that I was sitting in a Starbucks in North York pitching the idea of a Toronto-based Rocks & Rings program to Ian Cunningham, grand marketing guru of Capital One Canada.

The idea was for a program that would address two items I felt were major issues within the sport: the average age, and lack of cultural diversity amongst its participants. With its sheer size, multicultural makeup, and relatively low awareness of the sport, Toronto seemed to be the perfect market to kick it off.

Thirty short minutes and a “grande bold” later, the program had a title sponsor to go along with the support pledged by the Canadian Curling Association. It turned out to be one of the easiest sells I had made in my life – the reason being it simply made sense. It was now not a question of how it would go over in Toronto, it was when could we reach the rest of Canada?

Fast forward three years and we’re now entering our second three-year agreement with both the CCA and Capital One. Throw in further amazing support from The Dominion and numerous provincial curling associations and our goal of blanketing the entire country is getting closer by the day. From our innocent start in Toronto, we are now on pace to having at least one instructor and equipment in every province and territory by the end of the 2011-12 school year.

We are set to introduce over 100,000 kids to our sport this year, and success stories are being reported around the country. In many regions junior curling registrations are up and being directly attributed to the program. In some cases we’re even hearing that adults are playing for the first time because of their kids, instead of the longstanding tradition of it being the other way around.

More in a couple of weeks!

Chad McMullan – Rock Solid Productions Inc.

About Abbie Darnley
Abbie Darnley joined Rock Solid Productions in 2011 after managing curling clubs for seven years. Part of her job is to manage and oversee the Rocks & Rings program across Canada. Abbie has been involved with sport of curling for many years not only as a competitor but professional as well.


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