How curling helped one special five-year-old accomplish big things

I experienced something a couple of weeks back that gave me an incredible feeling of satisfaction and really validated the integrity of the job for me. I was at a certain school for four days and had the pleasure of teaching the same classes for all four days.  After my last day teaching a particular kindergarten class at this school, the teacher approached me and thanked me for working so well with the students and teaching them in a fun environment. But there was something even more important she wanted to share. She told me that she had one student in her class who, until that week, had been unable to participate in any special activity like this all year long because of some problems with his work and behavior in the classroom.  By now it was early March, and this five-year-old student had decided that he enjoyed the sport of curling so much, he just didn’t want to miss out. The teacher told me this young student was accomplishing things in class that she’d never seen him do before. He was so excited and was having so much fun that he went beyond his teacher’s expectations in order to keep participating in this exciting new sport.  It was definitely one of the coolest and most gratifying experiences I’ve had all year long. You can help reach more kids and bring curling to their schools with a donation to For the Love of Curling, the only charitable program dedicated to curling in Canada. Your gift will ensure kids will have access to this great program next year.
A child tries out curling at a Rocks & Rings visit to her school.

Rocks & Rings visits schools across the country, helping kids be active and healthy, regardless of background or ability. Program costs are kept low with your support, meaning more children will be introduced to curling. (Photo Rocks & Rings)

The privilege of introducing kids to curling through the Rocks & Rings program is something I never take for granted. It’s exciting to watch a gym floor transform into a sheet of “ice” and amazing to feel the energy as school children throw and sweep their “rocks” and learn the basic rules of play. Not only are kids getting a chance to try the game we curlers already love, but they are also being given a chance to experience all those things that make curling such a life-long sport: teamwork, socializing, competition, fun. It has been such an enjoyable season!  There’s nothing like seeing the faces of 25 ten-year-olds light up as they get so genuinely excited, energetic, vocal, and loud (!) while learning as much as possible about our awesome sport of curling.  Young kids are amazing people, and it was an absolute privilege to be able to work with so many of them this year. Your donation will help make next year possible for thousands more kids! Thank you.   Kids know sports are fun. But sport is also a powerful teacher and motivator. The Canadian Curling Association has partnered with Rocks & Rings to bring curling directly to schools across the country. This program introduces children to the joy of curling but also promotes important values: inclusion, respect and healthy living. With a donation to the For the Love of Curling program, you can share the fundamental values of curling with children across the country and help discover the next generation of curlers. Make your tax-deductible donation today and together we can help kids and curling thrive!    Justin Smidt is a Rocks & Rings Instructor travelling to communities across Alberta to introduce curling to children at their school.