Alberni youth encouraged to try curling

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Alberni Valley Curling Club will host a clinic, designed for 10- to 13-year-olds.

After an attempt to bring a Getting Started in Curling camp for kids to Port Alberni last year, organizers are trying again. Al Kersey, a member of the Optimist Clubs of BC, coordinates such camps all over the province and has successfully increased interest in the sport among youth.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Alberni Valley Curling Club will host the clinic, designed for 10- to 13-year-olds to learn the fundamentals of the game on ice while keeping it fun. Kersey will bring in teen curlers to act as mentors to teach skills to the younger players. He hopes it will encourage more youth membership in the local club.

“This is the first time in Port Alberni,” Kersey said. “I have been trying to get camps in Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum for about six or seven years, but have never gotten enough registrations. It is a shame because they are fabulous camps.”

The kids will learn five key aspects through hands-on activities, including fundamental sport skills, balance, brushing, releasing the stone and how to generate power.

He said the goal is to establish an interclub between the four Central Island communities.

“If we can increase the membership of the club, the kids can play with other clubs in Parksville, Qualicum and Nanaimo,” Kersey said. “I am creating a guide for other clubs to use to be able to build their own interclub.”

He has noticed the best age group for an introduction to the sport of curling is 10 to 11 years. “They are the most successful entry level curlers because they enjoy it and return every year,” Kersey said. “If some of the other sports didn’t work for you, I can guarantee you can be successful with curling,” he said.

Interested players can register by Oct. 27 by emailing Kersey at akersey@telus.net.

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