The Humboldt Curling Club was buzzing once again this weekend as curlers gathered for another CurlSask U15/U12 Triples Spiel. The new format has attracted youth from across the province to hook into the sport. Competitors, coaches and parents crisscross the province, taking part in the competitions, meeting young curling enthusiasts like themselves, and receiving coaching from some of Saskatchewan’s best.  

Coach John Butt trekked with his team all the way from Leader. The kids were having a great time in a competition when we caught up with them on the ice. Butt says that the new format and competition have sparked renewed interest in youth curling in their neck of the woods.  

“We’ve got quite an active junior group; I think we have about 25 kids in our after school program,” said Coach Butt. “For a community of 800, that’s pretty reasonable.” 

The health of rural curling clubs across Canada are dependent on engaging young curlers in the sport with programs and competitions that foster their development. 

“Twenty years ago, we didn’t have a lot of junior stuff going on when I was curling,” Butt admitted. “That’s kind of coming back to bite us now in adult leagues, so we’re trying to get these kids involved and keep them curling, and hopefully in twenty years, they don’t have the same problem as we did with diminishing numbers.” 

Butt says the new triples format, which has become increasingly popular, gives the kids a chance to play different positions, which allows them a better understanding of the game. 

At the U12 level, a couple of local teams fared well, a group from Muenster/Humboldt came out on top followed up by a brand-new trio from Watson. The next stop on the Triples Cup tour is just down the road at the Wadena Re/Max Curling Club on February10.