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New Recreational Sport Opportunity in the Community of East Hants 


Harold MacNeil/Danielle Shreenan

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For the past two years, East Hants Youth Links has partnered with East Hants Curling Association (EHCA) to provide free curling to East Hants and surrounding youth at the East Hants Sportsplex from October to March.

Opportunity knocked when funding was applied for and received from Sport Nova Scotia under the Equity, Diversity and Inclusive program. The funding was used to purchase shoes, brooms, gliders and sliders, enabling the youth to experience the game of curling with the correct equipment. EHCA also purchased four sets of youth curling stones. All of the gear enhanced the game for our youth, but the most significant difference was the availability of curling shoes, as our players could now concentrate on their game without slipping and falling. 

Providing the opportunity for our youth to engage in the sport of curling was truly a community effort. The EHYL Coordinator, EHCA members and the parents who were on the ice helping out or watching from the stands, all added to the community spirit of the program. Every additional skill or experience that we can offer to our youth both enriches their present and teaches skills that accompany them through life, including future involvement in curling in the community or other curling clubs.  The youth were so happy to be given the opportunity to curl, a sport they might not have experienced without the support of the greater East Hants Community.

One of the goals of the program was to enrich the lives of our youth by providing more physical recreational opportunities. But the addition of curling to the repertoire of sports that our youth can experience is only part of the picture. The youth of East Hants and surrounding communities experience a fun event every week, where they engage in an activity that gets them out, teaches them something new, encourages new friendships, gets them physically active—and hopefully introduces an activity that will have a long lasting effect on their lives. The measurable skill progression of our youth—not to mention their enthusiasm—reflect the success of the original goals of the program. 

Thank you to all the adults in the community who were there to support our youth, and a special thank you to Danielle Shreenan and the East Hants Youth Links for partnering with EHCA for this program; providing opportunities like this for our youth is so, so important. Whether they take these skills into the future or not, their experiences will forge memories that they will have forever. When they think back on the time they spent sliding down the ice, chasing and sweeping stones along the curling sheet to the button as fast as they could in order to win those precious points in the game—surely they will smile.

As is often heard on the curling sheet: HURRY HARD and enjoy all life has to offer.

Some of the youth participating in the EHCA Rising Tides Bonspiel, a first for East Hants.

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