Port Alberni’s junior curling club has some new rocks, thanks in part to a donation from the Port Alberni Toy Run.
Toy Run members presented a cheque for $985 to Karen Raybeck, the Alberni Valley Curling Club’s junior curling coordinator, on Tuesday, March 8. The funding will cover the last of the $4,800 cost of 16 new rocks for the junior curlers.
“It’s a big expense,” said Raybeck. “But I can’t believe what a difference it makes.”
The new rocks are about half the weight of regular curling rocks, but curl and act like larger rocks on the ice, said Raybeck. They are ideal for teaching younger children the basics of curling and form until they can handle the larger rocks. (A standard curling rock weighs 19.1 kilograms or 44 pounds.)
The junior curling program was revived in Port Alberni a few years ago. The 2019 program saw 12 children registered, but this number dropped after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Raybeck says any children who are interested in learning to curl can come out next fall. The program starts in October, with a few preliminary trial times in September. Anyone interested can contact Karen Raybeck at the Alberni Valley Curling Club.