The strength of any curling club lies in its youth.
That’s why, for the past seven years, Frank Giesbrecht has volunteered part of almost every Sunday to help teach the sport to the city’s fledgling curlers as coach of the Williams Lake Curling Club’s junior program.
“These days you can come out here to the club on any given night and the average age of a curler is quite older — 40-plus in years — so our goal is to try to get as many 30-something curlers as possible, bring their kids in, and the club will grow,” Giesbrecht said.
“The Williams Lake Curling Club is a community-based organization and to serve the community is our goal and the better we can do that the better we all are.”
The junior curling program, which began Oct. 21 and runs every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until spring break, currently has close to 10 curlers registered.
Giesbrecht said the program focuses on having fun and teaching strategy, tactics and fundamentals, and invited anyone interested in trying out the sport to join the group on Sunday.
“We get them on the ice and moving around and having fun,” he said.
“It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do it right because pretty much everyone is not doing it right.”
Giesbrecht, meanwhile, said he loves teaching the sport and has seen several curlers from Williams Lake go on to play at a highly competitive level.
In 2012, Williams Lake’s Michelle Ball, Paige Gudbranson, Tori Swan, Elisa Giesbrecht, who’s helping Giesbrecht this year as an assistant coach, and Lexi Swan travelled to Victoria to compete at the provincial championships. Earlier this January Gubrandson, Elisa and Swan joined Sarah Green in 100 Mile House at the Juvenile Girls Zone Playdowns.
“I enjoy this a ton,” he said. “It’s what I do. I spend a lot of my time here in the winter. We sort of say in curling that it’s a sport that is from eight to 80 … you can start as young as eight, like we’ve got here, or you can curl until you’ve got a foot in the grave.”
For more information on the WLCC, including a list of scheduled bonspiels and events, visit www.williamslakecurling.com or call 250-392-4636.