Carolina kids take to curling ice
BY JOE PAVIA
They came north in winter to curl.
Fourteen high school junior and senior students from Columbia, S.C., are in Ottawa for a week to try a number of winter sports but the first one they all wanted to try was curling.
Chemistry teacher Adam Morris is leading the crew with mom chaperone Joey Godley.
“I have always seen curling on the Olympics and I thought it might be fun to do. They had a lot of fun,” Morris said.
They all attend the 700-student Ben Lippen international private Christian school in the state capital.
Every January they have a week of Winterim where students scatter all over the world or stay in the U.S.
Some of them have been to Ecuador, Nicaragua and other places.
“I figured some kids might want to be cold all week instead of hot.” said Morris.
The group spent two hours trying the sport. With high-pressure play downs, provincials, brush controversy and elite curling events going on now, it was refreshing to see people absolutely having a blast. And never stopping. Their instructor was longtime competitive curler and icemaker Rick Allen.
“They came in blind and they were excited to be out there. I like seeing people come out and enjoy the game,” Allen said.
Allen remained on the ice for the entire two hours because he was having such a good time.
Seventeen-year-old Mark Rew gushed about his experience.
“It’s a lot like bowling or golf back in the States and I loved doing it,” he said.
A number of the students are from South Korea. His hand clutching hot chocolate Minho Seo, 18, said “I was really interested in curling because it’s my favourite Olympic winter sport to watch.”
According to mom Joey besides the curling they will be experiencing “ice skating, skiing and shopping. They love the big mall here (the Rideau Center). That’s been a big hit.” They are also attending two hockey games.
The action never stopped as high fives filled the air wit the sounds of shots well made even if the shot was really a Plan Z.
“It was hard to adapt to it but after a few throws it was fun and I could reach the centre,” said Seo proudly.
The best summary was from Mark Rew: “I always wanted to try it. It was a lot harder than I thought but it was lot more fun than I expected.”
After the Challenge Round Sunday, two more teams head to Brantford for the Recharge with Milk Tankard — Wayne Tuck from the host city and Grimsby’s Pat Ferris. The Tankard begins Feb. 1 … Senior region skips advancing to the provincials are: 1A – Bryan Cochrane and Julie Jarvis, B – Dave Collyer and Sheryl Dobenko. The senior provincials are in Woodstock starting Feb. 17 … In bantam zones the winners were: 1A – Andrew Kelly and Mackenzie Comeau; B – Emma Lee and David Boswell; 2A – Joshua Luckett and Emily Deschenes, B – James Stonehouse and Sierra Sutherland; 3A – Ryan Hahn and Lyndsay Thorn, B- Jordan MacNamara and Corri Burke; 4A- Hazen Enman and B – William Smith and Jessica Thorne.
The Buckingham squad of Rick Faguy, Guy Charette, Robert Periard and Wayne Ruggles won Carleton Place’s Leatherworks spiel on Sunday.
The OVCA Mixed bonspiel open winner was the Emma Wallingford rink. The senior winner was the Stubbs squad while the Chad Stoffer team from Schenectady, N.Y., won the colt’s section.
The Rideau men’s classic is looking for teams beginning Jan. 29. Four meals are included in the three games guaranteed entry fee. Call 613-232-9665.
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