Curling brings towns together through a shared love of good hits, hammers and raises - but one curling club in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, is using the game to take out barriers.
The Wetaskiwin Curling Club is a 100 percent volunteer-based organization that holds community events and winter curling, enjoyed by everyone from professional athletes to at-risk youth.
“The club tries to be accessible to as many people as possible,” says Robyn Gerrard, President of Wetaskiwin Curling Club. “Children, at-risk groups, Special Olympics athletes and many more come to enjoy the club’s events and programs.”
Removing barriers to entry, both physical and economic, is critical for the small-town club. This effort allows everyone, from students to low-income seniors, to enjoy the sport.
Gerrard, a volunteer for many organizations herself, knew the club’s need for donations and nominated the club for the Rooted in the Prairies Project – receiving $1,000 to facilitate the expansion of youth programming and purchase additional equipment.
“The impact they’re making on youth in the community is second to none,” says Gerrard. “We have seen huge positive impacts on those with learning and physical disabilities and socioeconomic challenges.”
Those impacts are more than just getting a little exercise. Being part of the club gives people a sense of belonging and helps youth develop social skills and a community mindset Gerrard says.
CANTERRA SEEDS’ Rooted in the Prairies Project supports local non-profit organizations nominated by the agriculture community across Western Canada. Now in its second year, the project has more than doubled its investment with seventeen worthy causes across the Prairies selected for assistance this year.