By Darren Lum
Published Sept. 12 2017
Jackie Bradbury a recent retiree in her 60s takes a break from painting a wall to rave about curling and said the Haliburton Curling Club’s introduction to curling clinic was a major factor in learning and falling in love with the sport.
“At first I was a really nervous getting on the ice because I was worried I was just going to go [gesturing a fall] but once I realized the grippers were good on my feet and I was safe then it was fun” she said standing in the club’s lower lounge. “I wasn’t nervous whatsoever. It was a lot of fun. They offered a lot of instruction. All you had to do was ask [if I had a question].”
Even before she went on the ice she said the clinic covered safety aspects of the dos and don’ts of curling during the class room portion.
The introduction to curling clinic includes instruction from experienced volunteer coaches practice time by participants and provides lunch. It is scheduled from 10 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 and costs $10.
Participants will have the opportunity to try used equipment and if desired to buy at a low cost.
Anyone interested in receiving instruction on using a stick to throw a curling rock can return to the club the next day as there will be stick clinic from noon to 2 p.m.
Contact the club for more information and to register for this clinic and the season at haliburtoncurlingclub.com or call 705-457-2830.
Despite Bradbury’s initial misgivings and her misconception the sport was boring she took the clinic and joined the club last year after a friend’s urging for three years.
“That was it. I was hooked” she said laughing.
Even after the clinic help is available.
“The help is there all year. All you have to do is ask” she said.
For Bradbury curling is fun and social and wishes she took the sport up earlier.
The welcoming atmosphere at the club is what she really appreciates particularly after hearing about friends’ negative experiences with other clubs.
“I think this club is very fortunate because everybody gets along. There’s not little cliques here and there and all over the place. On the whole everybody looks out for everybody else” she said.
Bradbury appreciates the club and has made great effort to give back whether that is her interest in becoming a board of director or volunteering when she can such as painting the lower level lounge last week.
Hillaby said the ice will be ready in time for the clinic for Sept. 23 which kicks off the club’s season.
She fully appreciates Bradbury’s enthusiasm and passion for the sport and the the not-for-profit organization that provides physical and social opportunities for the community.
She welcomes new curlers and recommends this clinic because it “makes them ease into the sport and makes them feel comfortable” she said.
She adds after this Sept. 23 clinic the beginners can still get more help and support from coaches for individual work.
An open practice will be available from Monday Sept. 25 to Thursday Sept. 28. On Monday and Wednesday it will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday it will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
As the saying goes hindsight is 20-20.
About the only thing Bradbury regrets in relation to curling and the club is not starting sooner.
“I love it. I wish it were all year and not just the winter” she said.