By Shelby Wye
The Quinte Curling Club is trying its best to get more Loyalist students and staff involved in Canada’s national sport.
In the meantime, the club is trying to get more youth to join their own leagues.
This year, the curling club’s member total hit the 400 mark, the youngest member being five years old and the oldest in their 90s. They had to combine junior leagues with the adults, with special permission from the Ontario Curling Club Association, so they would have enough teams to play against.
A “try night” was held Oct. 1, where people from all levels could come out to see the club and learn the basics of curling. The Calwell family was heavily involved with helping out and coaching the beginners with their first few steps on the ice.
Doug Calwell, father of twins Morgan and Mackenzie Calwell, was there with his sons to help coach the beginners. He admits that these try nights are just as much fun for the pros as they are for the beginners.
“It’s our way of trying to help others have the fun that we have with curling,” said Doug. “Probably half of the people out there tonight could probably come back and play on a fun league next week.”
“They come out, realize it’s fun, and come join the club. It’s more competition and that’s good for us,” said Morgan.
The Calwell twins, 18, students at Loyalist College, asked the school to start a curling team. The Calwells and other Loyalist youths already make up two junior leagues at the curling club. Despite this, Loyalist College hasn’t fulfilled their request.
“We’ve tried to (start a varsity league), but haven’t been successful. We wanted to make a team, but the athletic coordinator said there were a lot of other things they wanted to do. We were even willing to pay for everything, but they said nope,” said Mackenzie.
Loyalist College does not have a curling league, recreational or varsity.
“I’m disappointed. We would get all the equipment ourselves; pay for it all ourselves, we would basically be free advertising. It’s just a little irritating that they won’t let us do something free for them for a little publicity,” said Morgan.
“We’re still going to try: even if it’s not varsity, we’ll try a recreational league,” said Mackenzie.
Jim Buck, the athletic coordinator of Loyalist College, was unable to be reached for comment.