Pebbles to Boulders: We’re Back!

The CCA have invited me back to write Pebbles to Boulders, where I look forward to sharing stories and informing curlers about Little Rock curling in our curling clubs. This season, Pebbles to Boulders will focus on highlighting and profiling curling clubs and their Little Rock programs. We did a little of this last year and plan to do much more this season. What I mean is, Pebbles to Boulders wishes to highlight the clubs which may have something special to share with the rest of Canada, like a success story; a best practice situation; a special day that is more than successful; that unique instructor who gets the best out of the kids; the little curler who gives it their all…. Curling is special to all of us, and within our sport there are stories just waiting to be told. So let’s get out the trumpet and blow our own horn!

Elmira's half-way hack (Photo courtesy M. Cooper)

So here is the invitation. If you know of a Little Rock program that has something or someone special, I would like to hear about it so I can share your story with the rest of Canada. Last year we heard about Glenn Paulley and the Elmira Curling Club: their uniforms program so each kid is dressed like a pro curler, how they invited university student curlers to visit with special fun in mind on a curling day, and their specially designed half-way hack to allow the young curlers to throw rocks both ways. We also heard about Randy Flegel from the Stroud Curling Club. The Magic Man! This is a die-hard curler, who amongst his many roles at the club has been involved with Little Rocks for over twenty years. He told us of two stories where a child with Down’s Syndrome and another child, a triple amputee, were involved with their Little Rocks program. Not only did these kids benefit from the experience, but the rest of the able bodied young curlers also benefited from seeing inclusion, assisting society on the whole.

Reindeer Puppet (Photo courtesy M. Cooper)

High school curlers Heather and Shannon from Burlington (Photo courtesy M. Cooper)

Last year we learned about the Adaptive Outreach Program of Curl BC, as told by Elisabeth Young. While not directly related to Little Rocks, one focus of the program was including kids with special needs in curling. Elisabeth told a heart-warming story of little boy with a birth defect of only four fingers on each hand, making a Christmas reindeer puppet. The craft in school involved each child tracing their hand on paper to make antlers to glue on top of a paper bag hand puppet. This child figured out quickly that his puppet would be different than the others, for his would have 8 antlers not 10 like the other kids…. He was okay with that and so were the other kids. With amazement we discovered that 75% of the young high school curlers competing at the All-Ontario high school curling championships in Thunder Bay last March started their curling careers in Little Rocks. The young people shared their fond memories from their days in Little Rocks and told us how influential Little Rocks were to their development and outlook toward curling as a life-long sport. If you have a Little Rock story that is in need of being shared with Canada, contact me at the email address, [email protected].