Junior curling roaring back - Fort McMurray Today

Posted on 10/26/2011
By Trevor Howlett

Fort McMurray Oilsands Curling Club is looking to revive competitive junior curling, and with the recent announcement of the 2013 junior championships, organizers are hoping it will help boost numbers.

Competitive junior curling · meaning that youth teams will travel to other cities and towns in the province to represent the Oilsands Curling Club · hasn't been offered in the past couple of seasons.

But now that David Janes has taken over as program director for junior program, they're hoping to get back on track.

"We're trying to bring back competitive curling, so we're starting up a Sunday night curling league just for juniors, that's anyone under 21," said Janes.

"That's the big push for this year. We also have practices on Saturday morning. Hopefully this year we'll have some trips down south, play in some tournaments and then hopefully next year starting going into zones and get some kids in provincials."

Janes added that the participants in the Sunday evening league do not have to be in the Saturday morning program if they would like to play, they're separate programs except that they are both 21 and under.

Curling club president Tyler Spitzer said the club is trying to boost their junior curling, which will have an effect on the adult leagues in future years.

"They're the ones that end up growing up into being competitive curlers as you go on, so if you can't grow the sport at the junior level, then it eventually just stalls out," he said.

"You have to have young kids coming up so that your club can keep ticking."

Competitive junior curling has existed in the past in Fort McMurray and actually produced some good teams. In 1995 and 1992 women's teams from Fort McMurray were junior champions in Alberta.

"There's a history there, but it's not recent history which is what we want to change," said Spitzer.

Legacy fund

Spitzer believes that junior curling will see a bump in enrolment leading up to the 2013 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, but the real effect will come from the legacy of hosting the event.

"The thing with the 2013 juniors is that the legacy fund that's going to come out of it is going to be 100% invested into our junior curlers," he said.

Spitzer added they want their teams competing against the big cities.

"We want to send teams to out of town bonspiels and camps and allow them to get that top-notch exposure that they need so they can compete with the big cities. Whatever money we make from the event is going into the fund, and the legacy will be for the juniors."

Spitzer believes the legacy fund is the best part of hosting the 2013 CJCCs, from the Oilsands Curling Club perspective.

Although the season has already started, the Oilsands club are still accepting interested junior curlers into the competitive program. Those interested can call 780-791-7615 to register.


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