Local youth were able to learn curling tips from Team Saskatchewan, who represented the province at last year’s Brier at a curling clinic on Saturday afternoon, and they also had the chance to ask them questions about their experiences.
The team is comprised of skip Kirk Muyres, second Dan Marsh, third Kevin Marsh and lead Dallen Muyres. Weyburn was one of three locations in Saskatchewan chosen to have this special clinic and visit from the team.
The team held an on-ice curling clinic with the 28 children who signed up for the event, and then they gathered in the curling rink lounge for a question-and-answer period, with some team memorabilia handed out as draw prizes.
The skip spoke first, telling the children he was once in the same position they were, as a Brier curling team came to visit his town, and they inspired him in later years to pursue curling seriously as a sport.
He encouraged them to find and pursue whatever it is that inspires them.
“Find what you love and work at it. There’s going to be lots of down-times, and you can either quit or keep working hard and find something you love to do,” said Kirk.
His brother Dallan added, “Curling is a unique community. I grew up with Danny and Kevin as my friends, and we played against them a lot.”
He added he’s learned a lot of life lessons by playing this sport, and has gained a lot of friends throughout the province as well.
Dallan also recalled an important example for him and his brother was having their father on a rink that competed in the Brier in 1986, so curling was a big part of their family’s life.
Dan Marsh echoed that comment, noting his family was also heavily into curling as a sport, and recalled he and his brother being taken to the curling rink from when he was very young, “as soon as we were able to walk”.
Kevin Marsh said he has been curling since he was five years old, starting to curl competitively when he was around 14 years old.
Dallan got into curling when he was 13 or 14, and began to be competitive when he was 16, while his younger brother Kirk began curling competitively when he was 13.
“I’ve won a lot of games, but I’ve lost a lot more. We’ve been pretty successful, but we’ve lost a lot of games. It’s a life lesson, you have to lose a lot of games as you learn how to be a competitor,” said Kirk.
One of the youths asked why they would give away memorabilia, such as a prize broom to one youth and a jersey worn in a competition by Kevin Marsh.
“We’re always going to have the memories,” answered Kirk.
Dallan noted they all have full-time jobs while curling on the side, with his job doing CAD design, his brother Kirk working as a mortgage broker, Kevin working for Federated Co-operatives in Saskatoon, and Dan working as a teacher.
They have also all played in other sports, such as baseball, golf and hockey, and Dan said the skills you learn in those sports are all transferable to curling to some extent.
The children who attended had varying degrees of curling knowledge and experience, and they were divided amongst the four curling team members accordingly. Dallen took the youngest group, then Kirk had the next oldest youth with some experience, and the twin Marsh brothers took the two oldest groups, with Kevin taking care of the group who have a fair amount of curling experience.
They went through some drills and practice routines appropriate to each level of experience, as they taught the children some techniques such as how to come out of the hack, throw a rock and sweep a curling shot, along with how to do in-turns and out-turns.
They ended the afternoon with signing of autographs and taking photos with the team.