Cornwall Curling Centre Hosts U15 Challenge Cup

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Cornwall Curling Centre Hosts U15 Challenge Cup

In April, the Cornwall Curling Centre hosted the U15 Challenge Cup, a competitive bonspiel run by the Ontario Curling Council. Eight teams participated in the competition, including two from Cornwall and others from areas such as Ottawa and Nappanee.

“This tournament focuses on children’s learning and development,” explained Pam Lalonde, Youth Program Coordinator for the Cornwall Curling Centre, “Coaches are on the ice the entire time and players get instantaneous feedback throughout each of their games. They also have a mentor coach from the OCC on the ice providing mentorship to the coaches and to the players as well.”

Of the two Cornwall teams, one is currently involved in competitive curling around Eastern Ontario. The other team was made up of kids from the local youth curling club. Rhiannon Beckstead, a U18 player from St. Joes who won silver at OFSAA, was given the opportunity to guest coach the latter team during the tournament.

“She’s sort of getting a feel… a little dip in the water for coaching. We’re really excited for her and hope she’s had a good experience,” Lalonde said.

During the tournament, players had to try each position. There was a focus on triples and singles games, which differ from traditional four-person games and help create more well-rounded players. A big skills competition took place Sunday morning, where players had to do a series of shots of varying difficulty that make up the fundamentals of the curling game.

In the last couple of years, the Cornwall Curling Centre has focused its efforts on expanding opportunities for youth curlers in the area. Competitive tournaments give players who want to go further in the sport a chance to play against other teams and enhance their skills.

“We have a great club here. It’s a great location, it’s beautiful,” shared Lalonde, “We’re really lucky to have six sheets, a lot of places have four or two or three. We really enjoy having and hosting events.”

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