Greater Trail’s top junior curlers will hit the hack against the region’s best as the Trail Curling Club hosts the Trail Junior Curling Bonspiel this weekend.
A record 16 teams of players ages nine to 19 from Trail, Rossland, Nelson, Grand Forks, and Castlegar will compete in the annual bonspiel on Saturday.
“We’ll have four teams from Trail, and 12 from out of town, so that’s pretty darn good for Juniors,” said organizer Cal McKerricher. “It’s twice as many as we usually have.”
The junior program in Trail has blossomed in recent years with 16 teams participating in the Trail Junior Curling Club, says McKerricher.
“It’s the most we’ve had for about four or five years.”
In addition, Rossland started its junior program two years ago and will send three teams to the bonspiel, with the same number coming from Nelson, Castlegar, and Grand Forks. Through the season, each city takes turns putting on a bonspiel, which helps promote the sport, and builds confidence, camaraderie, and good sportsmanship, while providing a competitive and fun environment for junior curlers.
Curling Canada’s Rocks and Rings program has also played a major part in growing participation, says McKerricher. The program visits elementary schools and introduces potential young curlers to the sport by piquing interest with indoor floor-curling equipment that imitates the true curling experience – without the ice.
“We’ve doubled over the last few years … just word of mouth and going to schools where they put on these Rocks and Rings in the gym. It gets kids interested.”
The bonspiel draws go at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.