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Volunteer Curlers Show Two Harbors Ninth Grade Students How to Rock & Roll

When you scroll through the names of the State Championship and National Championship teams that hailed from the Two Harbors Curling Club, you really have to scroll. It’s quite a list. If you pay close attention to the rosters, you’ll see that some of the members of the teams that won in the 1970s are also on teams that won in the late 2000s. “It’s a lifelong sport,” said Laura Goutermont, and that’s one of the reasons why she enjoys working with kids and feels it’s im­portant to expose them to curling.

She’s not alone in that effort and that’s why it’s not hard for Lau­ra, who is vice president on the Two Harbors Curling Club board, to drum up volunteers to take on teaching the Two Harbors High School ninth graders some of the basics of the game for their phys­ical education class.

“Our goal is to give these kids the basics,” she said. “Get them out on the ice and show them the basics and get them playing a couple ends of curling so they can kind of feel the competitive side of it also.”

The kids love it. It’s one of their favorite activities during the school year. “It’s kind of neat be­cause you can hear them on the bus on the way down and the way back talking about it,” said Scott Ross, the athletic director at Two Harbors High School.

A majority of the kids have not tried curling before, which may make it more appealing. They all start on an even keel and can bet­ter concentrate on learning. “It’s pretty cool how fast they learn. In four days, they get a lot done,” said Scott. To me, that’s a true sign of engagement!

The volunteers, from league members to those who serve on the board, love to be involved, too. “They feel the enthusiasm, like I do,” Laura said. “It’s fun to give them a new sport.”

The Two Harbors Curling Club is an all-volunteer non-profit organi­zation. According to their website, “The purpose of the Two Harbors Curling Club is to provide recre­ational and competitive opportuni­ties in the sport of curling at the lo­cal, regional, national [level], and provide the local community with an affordable recreational opportu­nity to learn about and participate in the sport of curling.”

“They are really nice peo­ple to deal with,” said Scott, of the organization. “I think those kids really appreciate what those adults are doing for them.”

Many of the ninth graders have expressed an interest in continuing to learn about the sport. There’s a lot to learn. “There’s so much strat­egy to it,” Scott said. “It’s nowhere near as easy as some people think it is.”

Luckily, interested kids are able to sign up for Kids Curl or Junior Curl. Kids as young as fourth grade are welcome and there is no cost for the classes. This is an attempt to get kids involved. Adults, too, have opportunities to take advantage of the sport. There are clinics to attend at the Two Harbors Curling Club to get a taste for the sport. Also, new members are offered membership at half price for their first year and can join a league.

“Regardless of your ability, you can find a league to play in,” Scott advised. Recently, the club started new leagues that are for those who have over five years of experience in curling and another for those who have under five years of ex­perience. Two advanced curlers are on the newer curlers’ teams to pro­vide guidance. Laura said it went so well that they’ve added another league night to the schedule.

Scott expressed a lot of gratitude to Laura for arranging the classes and to those who gave up time to help out. “The volunteers do a really good job supporting the sport,” he said.

For more information on signing up for curling clinics, the kid and junior programs, leagues, and all things curling, visit Twoharborscurling.com. You can also find them on Facebook and can sign up through community education.

Thank you to Scott, Laura, and the volunteers that help ensure these students are introduced to curling!

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