The Canadian Curling Association and KidSport Calgary have teamed up to introduce programming that will not only help build participation levels in youth curling, but also will help families in need get their kids involved in the sport, it was announced today.
KidSport Calgary is a chapter within the Canadian based not-for-profit KidSport family, the mandate of which is to help provide sport opportunities for kids facing financial barriers. The initial step in the project will see KidSport Calgary work with the CCA on a series of introductory curling sessions for kids in the community through the popular CCA Rocks & Rings program. As this relationship grows, there will be a strong emphasis in expanding the program and partnership to help families in need get their kids involved in the sport all across Canada.
“This is a great step forward for CCA Rocks & Rings and the sport of curling,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the CCA. “Aligning with KidSport Canada helps further the goals of both organizations — to get more kids active in sports, and remove any roadblocks that might prevent that from happening. Curling has some natural advantages in that it can be enjoyed by kids of all skill levels, and is very cost effective for most families.”
As part of the partnership, there will be five CCA Rocks & Rings sessions offered to schools in low-income areas around the time of the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary at no cost to the school. Since being introduced in 2009, Rocks & Rings has visited nearly 5,000 schools with nearly 700,000 participants across the country. The program uses curling equipment that has been adapted to gymnasium surfaces, but closely simulates on-ice conditions.
Following those school visits, local curling centres will offer participants an on-ice experience through Family Learn to Curl clinics at no cost.
As well, bursaries will be offered to 30 children from families needing assistance to help them join a Little Rocks program for beginning curlers, and equipment (brooms, sliders) will also be provided for them to keep.
“We’re truly excited to work with the Canadian Curling Association on this project, and the desire is to expand it across the country,” said Kevin Webster, Executive-Director for KidSport Calgary. “The CCA shares our goals of teaching the value of sport in helping kids grow, both as people and as athletes.”