Pictou hosts youth curling bonspiel


PICTOU — Youth curling has returned with gusto to the New Caledonian Curling Club.

Three Pictou teams were among the eight foursomes that showed up for an invitational youth bonspiel at the club on Saturday.

Rachel Van Veen skipped a female team, while the two male teams were skipped by Jake Dunnewold and Aaron MacInnis.

“I like how it’s not as competitive as most sports,” Van Veen said. “I like being the skip.”

“You get to meet new people,” added mate Sidney Baillie, who was one of the draw to the button winners during a skills competition that was also arranged for the event.

“I just enjoy being with the teammates,” second Hayley Muise said.

“It’s fun,” lead Emma Cruikshank said. “I’m still learning.”

Club member Hugh Campbell leads the 12 young curlers with after school practices on Tuesday afternoons.

“The beautiful thing about having 12 curlers is that we have kids aged 10 to 17,” he said. “We have a great opportunity here with our younger curlers.”

Campbell said the bonspiel came together well with the help of other club members, and he appreciated the dozens of family members who accompanied the young curlers to the event.

“It’s been quite a while since we had a youth bonspiel here,” Campbell said. “We’re trying to make it more frequent than once a year.”

The result has been support from the Bluenose Curling Club in New Glasgow and the Highlander Curling Club in St. Andrew’s, near Antigonish, to host similar bonspiels.

The Pictou teams are already looking forward to the Bluenose bonspiel scheduled for late March.

Among other awards, Nick Gillis from the Pictou club also earned draw to the button honours.

From left: skip Rachel Van Veen, mate Sidney Baillie, second Hayley Muise and lead Emma Cruikshank curled as a team in a youth bonspiel on Saturday in Pictou. (Goodwin photo)