Laura Johnston delivers Rocks & Rings instruction in North Bay
Rocks & Rings a part of the growth of youth curling in North Bay
North Bay has established itself as a curling hotbed. Fans are engaged and eager to cheer, compete, and support the sport.
Bobby Ray, manager of the North Bay Granite Curling Club, has been an integral part of cementing North Bay as a strong curling community. The curling club has utilized Rocks & Rings as a way to reach students and get them interested in the sport. The North Bay Curling Club understands the importance of immersing youth in the sport of curling. Bobby Ray believes it’s every club’s responsibility to grow the sport with confidence so that no matter where those youth end up later in life they can find a connection to curling.
Rocks & Rings is having an impact on the profile of curling in North Bay. According to Bobby Ray, “Curling is becoming a much more highly relevant and respected sport among young people in our community because of initiatives like Rocks & Rings.” Youth in North Bay have the opportunity to see their peers playing at school, watch professionals play on TV, and even see their favourites compete at local arenas (North Bay recently hosted the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship and a Pinty’s Grand Slam event).
Rocks & Rings provides a unique opportunity to showcase the sport of curling in their own school. Children get really excited when they see the equipment in their gym and love being able to showcase their skills while delivering rocks with their friends. Bobby Ray likes to have some extra fun when teaching scoring. With a rock placed directly on the button, he asks “what’s the score?”. After students have made their guesses, Bobby likes to say “well actually, because this rock is placed so perfectly on the button it’s actually worth a million points!” The students all have a laugh before learning the actual score.
The North Bay Curling Club recently hired Laura Johnston, their first-ever full-time curling coach. This is all part of their plan to grow the sport of curling in the North. To foster that growth, they’ve begun offering 7-week Kids Learn to Curl programs three-times per season in addition to our regular junior program which now offers a game day and a clinic day. Their goal is to fill their six sheets of ice every day after school with young people, as well as on Sunday afternoons during their new junior curling league.
Rocks & Rings is excited to be a part of the growth of curling in North Bay and we look forward to having more youth involved with the sport across Canada.