October, 2014 / Author:

213-13-from-bonspiels-to-funspielsThe Keystone Rainbow Curling League (KRCL) is welcoming all newcomers, beginners and those returning from previous years to join the league this winter. The 2014/15 season gets underway Sunday afternoons beginning Oct. 5, and runs until March 22.

A curling clinic is planned for Saturday Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Granite Curling Club, home of the KRCL. All beginner curlers, as well as experienced curlers wishing to brush up on their skills, are welcome to attend the clinic for instruction on how to curl. A funspiel will follow for all those wishing to practise before the regular season begins the next day.

John L. has been an avid curler and instructor for over 40 years and has been with Keystone since the very beginning. Originally asked to coach, he stuck around to help build the league and still spares throughout the season. He stresses that KRCL curlers should have fun. “The social aspect is paramount. People should come out, have fun, and not overly worry about their skill levels.”

Curling began as a social sport in Canada. Rural folk, mostly farmers, needed something to do during the cold winter months and not all of them were hockey players. The social aspect developed alongside the game, bringing people together and eventually creating bonspiels just so people could meet one another and enjoy the game. Leagues like Keystone, which are very recreational and social, are the main supporters of local curling clubs. Without such leagues there would be no clubs.

Curling began as a social sport.

John is a certified Level 3 coach. His goal is to teach folks how to be passionate about the game. His expertise has taken him all over Manitoba, as far north as Churchill, to the U.S. and even Germany. He has taught people with disabilities and even legally blind people to curl. He sees it as an opportunity to teach everyone, regardless of ability, an enjoyable pastime.

He really wanted to see the Keystone league succeed. When he first began with them, he was not out, but he didn’t let that sway him. He shared the organizers’ goals of having a fun and safe place for the community to bond.

To John, the league is “tremendous, well organized, and successful.” He is proud of the league’s involvement in bonspiels and their running of the Bison Cup. He said seeing the enjoyment in the players’ faces makes it all worthwhile.

For information on how to register, visit keystonecurling.com. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis so you are encouraged to register ASAP.

– Shandi Strong has been active in the community for over a decade. She is a past vice-president of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Society, and currently volunteers at the Rainbow Resource Centre. She is also expanding her role in the community as an advocate for trans rights.

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