The Yorkton Elementary School Sports Association (YESSA) teamed up with the Yorkton Curling Club to hold a curling bonspiel for elementary school students this past Friday at the Gallagher Centre.
In total 12 teams and 48 athletes participated from seven different Yorkton elementary schools. St. Paul’s, St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s represented the Christ the Teacher School Division while all four schools from the Goodspirit School Division (Columbia, M.C. Knoll, Yorkdale and Dr. Brass) also took part.
The bonspiel, which the organizers have referred to as a ‘funspiel’, was held in order to promote the sport of curling to a younger generation of athletes in hopes of growing the sport within the community. But why was it called a funspiel? “Instead of calling it a bonspiel we call it a funspiel because there is no emphasis on winning,” said YESSA acting President Jesse Baron. “We have co-ed teams, boys play with girls against girls. We have it were if you don’t have the right number of curlers per team you can substitute freely in and out of games. We don’t record the results and there is no champion crowned at the end and that is why it is called a funspiel.”
Baron hopes that by taking the emphasis of winning out of the game early on that it will enable the new curlers to simply enjoy the sport instead of worrying about the results. “The biggest thing is it’s an opportunity for young curlers to get out and experience the sport,” mentioned the YESSA President.
One other thing that Baron hopes the funspiel will do is feed the high school and recreational curling leagues with new athletes that might otherwise not be interested in curling. “We’re hoping that everyone will have a really good time here so that when they move on to high school they’ll keep curling, either competitively or recreationally so that we keep curling alive here in the community.”