From Beginner Curler to Experienced Instructor: Meet Paige!

From Beginner Curler to Experienced Instructor: Meet Paige!

I’ve always been an active person, ready to try out any sport. Throughout elementary school, I played every sport my school had offered. However, if you had asked me about the sport of curling, I could have told you very little. It wasn’t until high school when I found out there was a school curling team that I decided to try the sport.

I signed up at my local curling club and went in ready to master the sport of curling. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as I had expected and during the first practice, sliding out seemed to have only one outcome for me - falling on the ice! Lucky for me, I wasn’t the only one wobbling out of the hack (that’s the starting spot where your feet go).

I had a lot of fun learning the new sport alongside beginners like myself (as well as some experienced curlers) who made the experience worth all the falls I took.

Every year up until grade 12, I had always played the position of lead (that’s the curler who throws the first two rocks) however this season the more experienced curlers on my team graduated.

I still considered myself to be a relative beginner, so it was strange to suddenly become the senior curler on our team. But, with me as skip and three new beginner curlers, we formed a new team.

It’s a skip’s job to assess and call the shots in each game, and I quickly learned the importance of keeping an optimistic attitude while encouraging my teammates. To my surprise, we met our competition head on and won our district’s championships to advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations tournament. Taking on that leadership role was something I’d never done before, but when presented with the opportunity, I stepped up and found myself achieving a goal I could’ve never imagined.

It was amazing to see how the short time I’ve put into curling had paid off, not only in our team’s success and the friends I’ve made, but also in discovering my passion for leading a group.

Currently, I’m preparing to attend university and plan to continue developing my leadership skills and applying them in the business field.

When compared to hockey or soccer, not very many kids learn curling. Yet, curling is a very inclusive sport for people of all abilities and ages and has helped me not only keep active, but also make some great friends and learn a lot about myself.

I would love for more people to have the chance to experience the impact the sport has had on me. So, when thinking of an idea for a project in my sports management class, I thought of the Egg Farmers Rocks & Rings presented by Curling Canada program, a program designed to introduce students to the game of curling right in their school gym.

After contacting the program, I was given an opportunity, as part of my Sport Management class, to work as an instructor at camps in the GTA. I also got to bring the program to the elementary school I went too.

Needless to say, I was delighted with the chance to introduce curling to many kids in the hopes of inspiring some new curlers to take up the sport.

At my home elementary school, I instructed over 240 kids in one day. The opportunity to see first-hand how excited the kids were to play and “throw rocks at houses”. Their enthusiasm amazed me and gave me the premonition that this could be the beginnings of their newfound interest for curling.

I’m confident none of these students will have any trouble yelling “hurry hard!” once they get on real curling ice.

 

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