My child wants to curl but I do not know where to start.
Did you know that a child can learn to curl at any age (from age 7)? There are many curling clubs in and around Calgary. Most of them do have a junior program. You will need to register in one of those programs to get started. You may register in any club you wish, to accommodate for day and time of practices or because one program may fit your child‘s needs better.
Learning to curl is very affordable (order of magnitude 100-200$ per season). The equipment required to get started is only a pair of clean running shoes (not worn outside), warm comfortable clothing and head protection (can be a hockey, ski or bike helmet). Most junior programs have the other equipment available to borrow (brushes and sliders).
Depending on your child’s age and skills (typically a 12-year old may become independent faster than a 7 year old), he/she may be able to join the CYCA Sunday league very quickly.
The CYCA Sunday is a recreational competitive league. Teams from all over the Calgary region participate. You do not need to form a team with others from your club to join the CYCA Sunday League and teams can be mixed. Each team is led by a volunteer coach who provides support during the games. The Sunday League is a “developmental” league. Your child will improve as a curler and make new friendships within the League.
The cost of the Sunday league is also very reasonable (around 150 $ per season) . However players would need their own brushes and sliders or curling shoes.
At the provincial level, there are U15, U18 and U21 competitive bonspiels (weekend tournaments) where travel is required. The higher the age group, the more competitive the sport becomes. If you child is not interested in being more competitive, not a problem, they can still enjoy curling through the Sunday League.
At the U15 stage, there are a few bonspiels during the season that still retain a friendly and fun atmosphere. Many teams participate in two to four per season. There is a Provincial Championship taking place if teams are interested. Starting at the U18 level, there are no more mixed teams and separate male/female bonspiels are held. Teams who evolved at this stage will typically have more practices during the week, travel all over the province, and participate in two to three bonspiels per month. The season ends with a Provincial Championship, the winning team going to the National Championship. At the U21 level, the National winner will go on to Worlds.