The “Rocks and Rings” program, which provides an introduction to curling, was at Cache Creek Elementary School on March 6, giving all the students an opportunity to try to get their rocks on the button in the house (and learn the meaning of all those terms).
Katee Featherstone of Rock Solid Productions was invited by the school to bring the program there, and was on hand throughout the day to guide the students class by class through the joy of curling, via three-pound rocks (on wheels) which the students learned to handle and then throw towards the house; in this case, a square of plastic with rings and a button painted on it.
Before they were able to take to the “ice” (the gym floor), Featherstone ran through a few curling pointers and some terminology. When she asked how many of the students had ever watched curling, many of the hands went up.
“I can find out if they know about [curling] by asking ‘Is curling a loud or a quiet sport?’” says Featherstone. If the students answer “loud”, she knows they’ve watched it.
Rocks and Rings is a national program that brings curling to schools, seniors’ centres, and other venues; anywhere that there is a suitable surface to use. “It’s an introduction to the idea of curling,” says Featherstone, adding that Rock Solid Productions works with many different organizations. Featherstone is based in Kamloops, and serves the entire Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
“There’s always lots of excitement about curling after the Olympics,” she says. “We find out what the kids know about it. We give them the basics, and some terminology, and then they can learn the fundamentals after getting the introduction.”
Students had already had an opportunity to take to the ice at the Ashcroft Curling Club. “Many of them had never curled before, and they were really excited to be there,” says principal Brooke Haller. The school hopes to get the students back there with their newly-learned skills.