Free curling party for lil’ rock stars

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The Inuvik Curling Club is hosting a free curling party for children in hopes of developing the sport in the region.

Inuvik junior curler Pearl Gillis, left, gets some pointers from Team Galusha’s Megan Koehler during the ladies championship last weekend. A curling event for children later this month aims to grow the sport and make more competition for the younger players.
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

“The winning team is going to win a six-foot-high trophy,” said organizer Nick Saturnino about the Lil’ Rock Stars event, which is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 27.

“The winning team of each of the categories is going to win keeper trophies. We’re going to have a huge cake, pizza and ice cream party for them. We want to make it a fun event and introduce curling to a lot of younger kids who may not have played it. There’s no experience needed.”

The event is for children ages five to nine and will feature an afternoon of half-ice curling.

Saturnino stressed that zero experience is needed for children to participate.

“They’re going to go out there and push a rock with two hands,” he said. “That’s all they’re going to do.”

A flyer went out advertising a $10 entry fee, but Rocky’s Plumbing and Heating and Nappaq Design and Construction have since stepped up to cover the entire fee for curlers, making the event free.

“That’s huge for us,” said Saturnino, who hopes youth from the communities can come as well.

“We want to introduce more kids into the sport and hopefully grow the sport here. The more kids that play, then maybe we could form more competitive leagues, so teams like (the junior girls) here could have teams to play against, and that would just improve the curling for the juniors immensely.”

Kerry Galusha, skip of the NWT ladies team, was in Inuvik last weekend and was impressed with Inuvik’s development of the sport.

“Yellowknife is even struggling with getting junior teams out,” she said. “I hope they can get more kids out because it’s an awesome sport. You can do a lot and accomplish a lot in the North if you stick with it.”

Saturnino said junior curlers get huge opportunities for travel and experience.

“Unfortunately there are not many junior teams, which is a good thing for us but a bad thing overall,” he said. “We need to increase participation.”

More teams in the region means more practice for Inuvik players, he said.

The Lil’ Rock Stars event is scheduled to start around noon Jan. 27 and run into the late afternoon or early evening.