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Record $2-million donation to benefit young Canadian curlers

Canada’s next generation of curlers will benefit from a record-setting $2-million donation to For The Love of Curling — Curling Canada’s philanthropic foundation.

The Curling Canada Rocks & Rings program will be growing as a result of a record $2-million donation to For The Love of Curling.

The Curling Canada Rocks & Rings program will be growing as a result of a record $2-million donation to For The Love of Curling.

The donation, from a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, is targeted at enhancing the youth system in Canada — curlers under the age of 18 with the ambition of not just recruiting them through the Curling Canada Rocks & Rings program, but keeping them in Canada’s curling centres for years to come.

“This incredibly generous donation will help Curling Canada change the way our sport is delivered to young curlers in our country,” said Curling Canada Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “It has been an absolute pleasure to personally work with this very special donor to help enable this momentous day for our sport. We believe that by creating a sustainable and successful feeder system, our sport will enjoy tremendous growth and reach new levels of participation and enthusiasm that haven’t been seen for years. We are truly excited about the opportunities that await us with this donation, and this partnership will benefit Canadian curling for years to come.”

Stremlaw was also quick to praise the efforts of Curling Canada Director, Fund Development Rachael Wilson in securing the gift.

“Rachael’s hard work was a significant factor in this, and we believe this is the start of something special for our For The Love of Curling philanthropic program,” said Stremlaw. “We’re in a position now, in partnership with our 14 Member Associations and our affiliated curling centres, to make significant gains for our sport with young athletes.”

The focus on young curlers will encompass a broad spectrum as youngsters are introduced to the sport through Curling Canada Rocks & Rings, the popular curling simulation that gives students the chance to try the sport indoors in school gymnasiums. Getting them to curling rinks is the next step, with the donation building on learn-to-curl programs, instruction, leagues and other incentives. Over the long haul, that will benefit not just the competitive system, with more young athletes to form our development talent pool, but also recreational curling as young people catch the curling bug and participate in leagues as juniors and adults.

Today’s announcement coincides with the second annual Curling Canada Charity Golf Tournament, being held at Monterra Golf at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ont. — an annual fundraiser benefitting For The Love of Curling.

“This is an exciting day for curling in Canada, and opportunity in front of us as a result of this donation is truly something special,” said Wilson. “But we’re not stopping here. We plan to leverage today’s gift and continue to work with private and public benefactors to build even further on our ambition to expose our sport and its numerous health benefits to every child across the country.”