The organizers of the 2023 Bob Picken Open Masters Bonspiel (the BOBSpiel) have announced the recipients of three junior development grants from the Bob Picken Legacy Fund.
Thanks to the participating teams and the event sponsors, the fund grew again in 2023. As a result, it is possible to present $500 grants to Junior programs in three Manitoba curling clubs. While the grants will draw down the fund slightly, it is anticipated that the program will continue for several more years along with the early-season bonspiel.
This year’s grant recipients are the junior programs in the Winkler, Elmwood and Portage Curling Clubs.
WINKLER: A 15-week Grades 5-8 program with 32 curlers. An early season focus on skill development transitions into alternating practice weeks and game weeks later in the season. The grant will support on-ice equipment upgrades and to allow for develop of innovative ideas like a Triples FunSpiel.
ELMWOOD: A Little Rocks (16 weeks) and Bantam & Junior (20 weeks) program with about 60 total curlers. Depending on age level, the focus is teaching the basics of the game, skill building and games. The grant will support replacement of club equipment such as short-ice hacks, acquisition of protective helmets for the little rockers, and training for volunteers.
PORTAGE: Total numbers in the 90-100 range for Little Rocks (K – Grade 5), Junior (Grades 6-8) and High School curling programs in conjunction with the Portage School Division. The grant will support replacement of aging brushes and brush heads and acquisition of sliders. It will also support outreach activity including a developing plan for a Newcomers to Canada curling introduction.
With this year’s Bob Picken Legacy grants, a total of $6,000 has been provided by the bonspiel and by Manitoba’s Masters age curlers for junior development in Manitoba curling.