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Giving back to the sport of curling

If John Morris needed a reminder of why he plays the great game of curling, he’s been receiving it this week at Elbow Valley Elementary School, just west of Calgary.

John Morris works with the Grade 2 students at Elbow Valley Elementary School, just outside of Calgary. (Photo, CCA)

John Morris works with the Grade 2 students at Elbow Valley Elementary School, just outside of Calgary. (Photo, CCA)

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 12.32.53 PMThe 2010 Olympic gold-medallist and his first-year Team Canada foursome (third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen) have had a rocky first half of the season, to say the least.

But the perfect tonic after two recent disappointing weekends was two days of helping instruct the Canadian Curling Association Rocks & Rings program with Grade 2 classes at Elbow Valley Elementary School.

CCA Rocks & Rings instructor Mackenzie Jefferies speaks to the students at Elbow Valley Elementary. (Photo, CCA)

CCA Rocks & Rings instructor Mackenzie Jefferies speaks to the students at Elbow Valley Elementary. (Photo, CCA)

“I remember being their age and just couldn’t wait to start curling,” said Morris. “The Rocks & Rings program is an amazing way to bring our sport to kids who have never had the opportunity to visit a curling rink. And being around them today, seeing them excited about curling and enjoying our sport, has been amazing.”

It’s not Morris’s first experience with the school. A captain with the Rocky View Fire Services, his department helped construct a playground Springbank Middle School, next door to Elbow Valley Elementary.

“I think it’s always important to give back to the community in some way, and working on the playground as well as doing these Rocks & Rings programs is a way to do that,” he said.

Morris, along with CCA Rocks & Rings instructor Mackenzie Jefferies, ran the kids through various games that had them sweeping, throwing rocks and, generally, having a blast.

Students get some sweeping tips from Olympic gold-medallist John Morris. (Photo, CCA)

Students get some sweeping tips from Olympic gold-medallist John Morris. (Photo, CCA)

“I like curling because you get to throw rocks,” said a smiling Zach, one of the participants. “My friends should try because it’s really fun and I’m sure they like throwing things, too!”

“Getting kids involved in curling at an early age is important for our game,” said Morris, whose team will participate in the World Financial Group Continental Cup, Jan. 8-11, and the Tim Hortons Brier, Feb. 28-March 8. Both events, presented by SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, will take place in Calgary. “But so is making the game fun and easy to learn, and Rocks & Rings does those things. I think it’s a great program that will only help curling in the long run.”

The CCA Rocks & Rings program is supported by the Canadian Curling Association’s philanthropic program, For The Love of Curling.

Between Wednesday and Sunday at midnight ET, the Five Days of Giving will see donations made to For The Love of Curling topped up by an additional three per cent by DonorPerfect Canada. Your gift will bring CCA Rocks & Rings to schools across the country, so more children can discover curling.

Tax receipts will be issued to all donations, and those who donate $75 or more will receive a special donor pin.

Click here for more information.