Westview School is welcoming curling into its house.
The Transcona elementary school at 600 Hoka St. is building an outdoor rink with two sheets of ice to introduce its students to the game.
Parent advisory council chairperson Crystal Honey said she got the idea to start a curling program for youth two years ago while looking for a program for sons Cadon and Parker, but found the closest rink to them was Elmwood Curling Club.
She approached Westview principal Karla Gould, who agreed it’d be a good idea to bring the game to the school. The school began the process last year when it received a Capital One Rocks and Rings grant last school year to introduce an indoor version of the game to youngsters. Since then, the parent advisory council purchased a $2,200 set of junior rocks, while the school is covering the cost of creating the ice.
"We have so much winter, and we need to teach the kids how to appreciate winter in Winnipeg," said Gould. "We thought it’d be nice to have an outdoor rink and really teach the kids the game.
"We wanted to provide an opportunity to our kids that they wouldn’t otherwise have."
Physical education teacher Dale Fust, himself a curler, is in the process of flooding the rink, noting he hopes to have it ready in early February. The process started before Christmas, but weather which was either too warm or too cold delayed flooding.
"Things are starting to look up. I think we’ve figured it out," said Fust, noting this is the first rink of this scale on which he has worked. "We’ve run into issues with blowing snow from the roof, and all the fun stuff we’re trying to figure out.
"I’ve done more shovelling than flooding with the crazy weather and snowstorms."
The school is looking for donations of gently-used brooms and sliders, and Gould added volunteers who can instruct students how to play, or help maintain the rink, would be welcome.
Those interested in helping can contact Gould at 204-958-6412.
"Because we’re just starting off, we’re not going to have all the equipment we need," she said.
"We’re building a three-year plan to get everything together because you have to gather so many pieces and figure out storage."
Honey said the long-term hope is to allow the community to use the rink.
"It would be ideal if we could access it," said Honey. "There would probably be some sort of booking to make sure equipment was taken care of."