Anybody going to the Tim Horton’s Brier can learn a few lessons on curling, and even some of the teams playing in the bonspiel get schooled. But, learning about the sport is exactly what a school group from Grand Coulee was there to do on Tuesday.
In a top section, on the far side of the arena, about two dozen kids in grades five to eight were hooting and hollering in their seats for the home team, Saskatchewan – who were playing Northern Ontario at the time.
The students are from Stewart Nicks School in Grand Coulee outside Regina.
Michelle Faucher is their teacher, and she explained that they’ve been learning about curling in gym class — the skills, the basics the rules — and were offered a set of tickets to augment the lessons while watching some of the best teams in the world.
Faucher said there are a lot of benefits that come from learning not just curling, but any sport.
“I think sports are a great opportunity to practice the values that we work on at school. They work on respect, they work on responsibility, honesty, fairness, compassion. We teach them those things in the classroom, but sporting opportunities give them another opportunity to display those values.”
The kids were clearly loving the experience.
“It’s exciting, like when Saskatchewan makes a big shot,” explained Jack Vallance, 13.
“(I’m) really excited and happy, and just want the Saskatchewan team to win,” said 10-year-old Ellia Gaudet.
Beyond the excitement of watching a national bonspiel like the Brier, the kids were growing a love for curling, itself.
“Anything can really happen with the rock, and some things can go crazy and really interesting when stuff goes crazy with the rocks,” said Ellia.
Andie Williams, 10, said she likes to play third, “because you get to do a little bit of everything.”
The kids needed no lessons in cheering, as some of their hooting and hollering for Team Sask could be heard across the arena.
Maybe that cheering worked, because Team Sask won the game against Northern Ontario, 8-4.