Kids in the ‘Little Rocks” program at the Langley Curling Centre (LCC) are playing with brand-new, lightweight curling stones, thanks to a grant from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program.
Langley Curling Centre manager Robyn Parkes said the old concrete stones used by the five- to nine-year-old participants were falling apart.
“The handles were chipping, they were really in poor condition, they were leaving a lot of sediment on the ice after we had played with them.”
A Jumpstart grant of $9,000 paid for the replacements, which, like the older rocks for kids, were lighter – 25 lbs. compared to the 45 lb. stones used by older players.
But unlike the older curling stones, which had smaller dimensions, the new lightweight rocks are the same size as the heavier rocks, so the young players can get used to throwing full-size stones.
Parkes said the “Little Rocks” program attracts about 30 kids, who come to practices on Saturdays to learn the fundamentals of the game, including throwing, sliding and sweeping techniques using the lighter curling stones and shortened brooms.
“It’s sort of an introduction to curling, then they tep into the junior program, 10 and up,” Parkes elaborated.
As for the older rocks, they were sold in three lots to help cover the cost of taxes and shipping the new curling stones.
Two lots were purchased by people who live in lake country, said Parkes, and they plan to use them for curling games when the lakes freeze over. The third lot went to a man in Manitoba.
Registration is underway for various programs at the centre, through the website only.
In line with provincial guidelines, the LCC will require that all curlers and spectators be fully vaccinated and will be required to present proof at the door.
Masks must be worn in the building including the curling lounge, locker room, washrooms.
More photos of the Little Rocks program can be viewed at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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