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Rocks & Rings visits Special Olympics groups

Monday, 24 February 2014 - Posted by Abbie Darnley

The Capital One Rocks & Rings program recently visited with Mount Pearl Special Olympics athletes. Superstar instructor Geoff Walker exposed them to a new sport and they loved it! Here is Coach Guy’s take on their experience with Rocks & Rings.

Mount Pearl Special Olympics Athletics group signed up for the Capital One Rocks & Rings program. Curling is one of Special Olympics’ official sports and we are trying to promote the sport in our region.

The program was very well presented by Geoff Walker (lead on Brad Gushue’s team) and was very well received by our athletes and coaches alike. We have athletes ranging in age from 10 years to almost 60 years old, so we divided our group of 38 athletes in half by skill level and ran two 40-minutes session. Geoff connected with our athletes quickly and was very good at explaining the rules of the game and engaging all the participants into the activities. Our coaches enjoyed helping with the drills. Our athletes thoroughly enjoyed the entire program and asked when we would do Rocks & Rings again.

Curler Geoff Walker of Team Gushue instructs coaches and athletes of the Mount Pearl Special Olympics program (Photo courtesy Capital One Rocks & Rings)

Curler Geoff Walker of Team Gushue instructs coaches and athletes of the Mount Pearl Special Olympics program (Photo courtesy Capital One Rocks & Rings)

Coach Mary said that Greg, a seasoned Special Olympics curling athlete, led his team in counting the score. And it looks like we have a few potential world class sweepers that were led by Danny. Evan said that he had participated in the program at school and really enjoys it, so he is looking to try our curling program next season. Coach Joanne led the sweeping competition and had athletes take turns calling for sweeping and checking the line. What fun they had participating in the various positions and aspects of the game.

Our provincial association program director for Special Olympics attended the session and said that the program presented the fundamentals of curling extremely well.

I, Coach Guy, really enjoyed the program and thought that it was definitely worthwhile. We will use the teaching material that was presented with the program next fall as a refresher for our athletes and to help spark further interest in curling. We hope our experience with Rocks & Rings encourages more Special Olympic curlers throughout our region. Floor Curl is a great tool to promote curling with our members.

Special Olympics athletes practice their sweeping drills in a Rocks & Rings session in Mount Pearl, N.L. (Photo courtesy of Capital One Rocks & Rings)

Special Olympics athletes practice their sweeping drills in a Rocks & Rings session in Mount Pearl, N.L. (Photo courtesy of Capital One Rocks & Rings)

The program itself is well prepared and can be easily tailored to athletes of varying age, skill and ability. We had heard about the program but weren’t sure how it would work with such a diverse group of individuals. What a great fit for our group.

Coach Guy, Mount Pearl, N.L.



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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