For the first time in the history of the Roarin' Game, kids can learn the difference between an in-turn and out-turn and get credit for it at school.
Welcome to the School of Hard Rocks.
Two Manitoba schools have introduced Curling 11G, a credit course of 110 hours that has been approved by the Department of Education and is supported by both the Canadian and Manitoba Curling Associations.
A total of 22 Grade 9 and 10 students signed on for the course at Morris Collegiate where they are learning the proper delivery, the basic rules, some curling history and etiquette.
"We don't just go out on the ice and throw rocks," said Bonnie Drieger, the qualified curling instructor who also teaches art and home economics. "I told them it's like going to a hockey practice where we might have a scrimmage at the end. The kids are doing really well and they are anxious to get on the ice."
The students will be graded on application of knowledge, skill development, participation and attitude, Drieger said.
Souris has also adopted the program while a pilot project for Grade 6 students has been introduced in both Beausejour and Morris.
"It really is a big boost for curling in the community and it is a huge boost in terms of life-long physical fitness," Drieger said. "And it should help curling in Manitoba as well.
"I understand there is a lot of interest from other schools that want to get involved."
The MCA is currently training more teachers and plans are in place to add a second level next year.
"This came about because of one person, Brian Kaleta, a retired school teacher who brought it to our board," said MCA executive director Ian Staniloff. "He wanted to see if we could get curling into the schools the same way hockey programs have become credit courses.
"This is still very much in the pilot-project stage but they are teaching the game at a much younger level. Obviously, it would be great for the sport to have curling within the schools."
Kaleta, a former competitive curler, could not be reached for comment.
BITERS: Weekend passes for the Grand Slam's $100,000 BDO Classic Canadian Open are now on sale at Ticketmaster. Prices range from $79 to $99 for the event, to be held at the MTS Centre, Jan. 5-8, 2006 ... The deadline to enter the MCA's 118th Annual Bonspiel is Jan. 5, 2006, with entries limited to 448 teams this year.
The long-awaited Manitoba Curling Tour playoff between Assiniboine Memorial's Brent Braemer and Valour Road's Mark Lukowich goes at the Thistle Curling Club tonight at 8 o'clock. The winner will play this year's MCT champ, if eligible, for a berth into the 2006 Safeway Select ... The W/MCT's Interlake Pharmacy Classic starts in Stonewall tomorrow ... The Safeway Select Northern Berth Bonspiel will be played in Thompson this weekend ... Also on tap is a senior women's berth bonspiel.
Rosser's Chris Galbraith defeated Valour Road's Andrew Wickman 7-4 in the final of the World/Manitoba Curling Tour's Pharmasave Gimli Classic late Monday to earn $5,200. Wickman pocketed $2,800 ... Deloraine's Murray Warren beat Brandon's Ed McEwen 7-0 in the final of the MCT's Agricore United Oiltown Classic in Virden to win $4,000. McEwen got $2,000 ... Janet Harvey of Fort Rouge passed on last weekend's Scott berth bonspiel to compete in a B.C. cashspiel. Good move. Harvey earned $12,000 when she won the whole spiel ... Manitoba's Dave Boehmer netted $3,500 for qualifying at a WCT spiel in Nipawin, Sask. ... The MCT's Skins Game, slated for Grand Marais this weekend, was cancelled due to lack of entries.