KILLALOE – A total of 55 children from Killaloe Public School made their way to the Killaloe Curling Club on March 7 for a day of laughter, fun and of course, curling.
That day, the school participated in the annual bonspiel, which culminates an eight week program that started in January. Students in Grades 4-8 participate in the curling program which is organized by club volunteer Ambrose Mullin.
“It’s a sport that’s like riding a bicycle,” he said. “Eight to eighty. Everybody can do it. Physical size doesn’t mean a lot and it’s darn good exercise.”
He said an invitation is extended to many schools for the program, which runs one hour a day, one day a week for eight weeks. However, this year, only KPS jumped at the chance to participate in the free lessons.
Since January, Mullin has been teaching the younger children the basics of curling.
“We try to teach them as much as possible about the game, but we emphasize delivery, and trying to get the rock down the ice with the young ones,” he said. “As they get older, then the program progresses.”
Mullin has been running the lessons for around 12 years now.
“We supply the equipment for them to curl with,” he said.
Throughout the weeks, he has watched the students grow in the sport. He said there is a lot of talent at the school.
In fact, school alumni that participated in his program have gone on to the curling team at Madawaska Valley District High School.
“Some of the little Grade 4 students; they are almost as heavy as the rocks are,” he said. “But what they lack in size, they make up for in enthusiasm.”
The best part for Mullin is seeing the children helping out their younger schoolmates.
It brings him back to the days when he was in grade school at St. Andrews, where he was first introduced to the sport. Mullin participated in an afternoon curling club, and he has not looked back. He has been curling now for more than 35 years.
That is why he wants to help the younger generation grow an interest in the sport.
Story continues in the March 15, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.