A new introductory curling program for women being launched in January on the West Island is making it easier for moms to try the sport thanks to a free childcare program.
Ladies’ Curling 101 is a pilot project by Glenmore Curling Club in D.D.O. It is tailor-made for women, with an all-female coaching team led by four-time provincial champion Allison Ross.
According to Monica Dedich, director of communications and fundraising at Curling Quebec, if they’ve never tried it, people often don’t realize how fun curling can be — or how good of a workout it is.
“Curling is going through a bit of a revival,” she said. “We’re trying to spearhead that movement in Quebec and appeal to a younger crowd, and especially women. It’s good for the sport and it’s a good way for moms to get out and create a new social network.”
Dedich said the program is designed to be a gentle introduction for participants and is suitable for all, no matter what their level of fitness. “You don’t need to be in great shape. If you are, great, if you’re not, that’s fine too,” she said.
Kim Beardsell, a mom of three who has been curling for 30 years, said she hopes the program will inspire more mothers to give the sport a try.
“What’s wonderful is that you can start at any age,” she said. “I started at age 8 but I play with people who started at 55. This program is a wonderful way of making the sport accessible for those who don’t have childcare options.”
Beardsell noted that unlike some sports, curling is both inclusive and relatively inexpensive. There isn’t a lot of costly gear to buy, and curlers are very supportive and welcoming to newcomers, so it’s a great way to meet new people and socialize, she said.
“You get people from all walks of life. It’s an environment where no one cares if you’re a judge or a janitor. You’re all just curlers when you’re on the ice,” Beardsell said.
The program costs $80 and includes eight, two-hour sessions on selected Sundays between Jan. 12 and March 15.
No special equipment is required, just comfortable workout clothes and a pair of running shoes with clean soles. Dress in layers to make it easy to warm up or cool down as needed.
For more information, visit curling-quebec.qc.ca/ladies-curling-101.