Athletes of the week: Little Rocks curling team

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It’s a sport that can last a lifetime, and a young group of local curlers are setting themselves up for decades of fun.

In particular, some of the curlers in the Huntsville Curling Club’s Little Rocks program—which is for 6-11 year olds—are really starting to develop some skills and understanding in their new sport.

Max Dzierla,11, Alistair McMannon, 8, Addison Watson, 9, and Noah Lockhart, 8, all enjoy playing as a team. As part of the Little Rocks program, each gets to take a turn as the lead, the second, the third, and the skip.

Max likes to curl because it’s good exercise. Alistair says he gets to meet new friends outside of his school group. Addison adds that games are her favourite because they are so fun to play. And Noah likes to hit stuff—the stones. As a team they have had to work together and learn both patience and how to develop strategies during a game.

During the Little Rock fall session, Alistair McMannon participated in the Hit, Draw and Tap competition, where kids get the opportunity to compete as an individual rather than a team to score points based on their different shots.

Alistair placed in the top ten in his age 6-8 category, which earned him a spot in the provincial competition in Elmira, Ontario as part of the 2019 Ontario Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships this weekend. “He will have the chance to win the biggest trophy you have ever seen,” said Club Coordinator, Kristen Hamilton. Good luck, Alistair!

The Little Rock program makes curling more accessible for younger kids as they use Lite Rocks that are half the weight of a regular curling stone, which weighs about 42 pounds.

(From back) Alistair McMannon (hidden), Addison Watson (in red), Max Dzierla (with green helmet), and Noah Lockheart

Little Rocks curlers (from back) Alistair McMannon (hidden), Addison Watson (in red), Max Dzierla (with green helmet), and Noah Lockheart have fun learning their new sport

HCC's newest Little Rocks curlers practice their shots

HCC’s newest Little Rocks curlers practice their shots

Both the Little Rocks and the Junior program, which is for kids age 10 and up, teaches kids how to deliver a stone, how to sweep, and the etiquette and strategy of the game.

Some of HCC's junior curlers in practice

Some of HCC’s junior curlers in practice

Hamilton, gets excited about how well the kids do in s short period of time. “They practice these skills each week and within a few weeks of starting the program they are able to put their newly learned skills together and play a game,” she says.

These Little Rocks curlers recommend curling to other kids who want to try it, either at their school if it is offered as an elective, or as a recreational sport. The HCC programs run for eight weeks and the affordable fee ($30) includes use of equipment.

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