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Curling a great night out, say Walters

Throwing rocks with his wife was something Chris Walters embraced because it provided them with an avenue to enjoy a night out together.

Chris Quigley/TC Media

Chris Walters is seen during action at the Corner Brook Curling Club on Tuesday evening. His wife Debbie was unable to curl with him on this night due to a shoulder injury.

All it took was his wife mentioning to him last year that she wouldn’t mind check ing out curling when free curling was offered at the Corner Brook Curling Club as a way to attract new people to the game.

The Corner Brook couple, participants in the club’s Learn to Curl program last winter, are back on the ice again this year playing the game in a fun environment on Tuesday nights.

Chris, a soil surveyor with the provincial government’s Agrifoods division, plays broomball and shinny hockey during the week so he was willing to entertain anything he and his wife could do together as a couple.

Debbie runs a daycare out of her home so she’s busy taking care of children all day. She never played any sports growing up, so it was new territory for her, but she looks forward to a night out where she can meet new people and throw some stones in a fun environment.

"It’s something Deb and I can do together in the evenings to get out of the house for a couple of hours.”

They feel at home at the curling rink. They get a lot of help from fellow curlers and Walters believes it’s kind of cool how the club goes about promoting the sport to those who haven’t discovered the fun in throwing rocks.

Walters is involved with the local broomball league as director of player development and he has been concerned about the lack of numbers and survival of the sport.

He thinks the curling club executive could be on the right track with ideas like offering a Learn to Curl program, which will be offered again this winter with the first session of the eight-week initiative getting underway Friday and then running Sunday nights for the duration.

“More sports could follow their lead, actually,” he said.

The support of fellow curlers is also something he was impressed with. Being new to the sport and not sure of what to do, he liked how there were at least 15 different club members who helped out.

It was an environment where the couple felt comfortable because they had lots of support as they tried to get used to it.

That’s just what the Walters plan on doing. Chris said he’s pretty relaxed on the ice despite being a tad more competitive than his wife.

“I just like poking fun and I’m ready to take it back if I gets it kind of thing,” he said.

Never involved growing up

Debbie Walters was never involved with sports growing up in Corner Brook, but now she’s having a blast throwing rocks once a week.

Walters, and her husband Chris, curl together on Tuesday nights at the Corner Brook Curling Club. They got involved with the sport last winter when they were looking for something they could do together as a couple in the evenings.

Chris is active during the week playing shinny hockey and broomball, but Debbie, an early childhood educator, has been busy running a daycare out of her home for the past 20 years, so getting involved in a sport or any other activity wasn’t something she entertained.

Last winter, they decided to try the sport when the Corner Brook Curling Cub offered some free open curling slots.

After one weekend, she was sold on the idea. It wasn’t long before they found out that the club was offering a Learn to Curl program, so they decided to register for it.

After the eight-week program was completed, signing up for the Tuesday night curling slot was the next move.

It was nerve-racking for her at first, knowing full-well she had never even skated on ice before let alone try to throw rocks on it.

“I was terrified when I stepped on the ice,” she said. “For the first couple of weeks the knees were knocking, but I got over it.”

She figured she would lose her touch with the game when curling wrapped up last season, but when she came back this year she was surprised that she had retained her form.

It’s a low-impact activity where the environment isn’t too aggressive on the competitive side so she embraced it, but more importantly it’s something she shares with her hubby so it’s become something she looks forward to each week.

“It’s one of the few sports where you can have the husband and wife on the same team if you want to be, and do something together,” she said.

Throwing rocks has become her thing to do when she’s not taking care of youngsters and she strongly recommends it for any other person or couple looking to do something together that is fun and sociable.

Anybody interested in information on the Learn to Curl Program at the Corner Brook Curling Club can contact Gary Martin at 637-7129.

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