The Learn to Curl program has been a smash hit for the Garrison Curling Club, drawing full houses of people looking for an activity to do in the pandemic

With the golf season coming to an end, many people are looking for a new activity during the long, cold winter months - and curling is growing in popularity because of it.

Curling is one of those sports that seems to be gaining a lot of interest.  Over the weekend at the Garrison Curling club it was a full house for the Learn to Curl program.

Jared Jenkins,  the assistant manager at the club, says with the COVID-19 pandemic, everything has to be done safely.

That means the curling rocks are disinfected regularly.  There are signs everywhere telling curlers to social distance and on the ice there are even decals  that tell curlers where to stand.

Jenkins says a lot of curling newbies are showing up eager to learn the sport's fundamentals.

“From my standpoint it seems like everyone just wants a safe activity to do," Jenkins said.  "They want to get out of the house and curling is kind of a natural sport to keep people social distanced just like golf.  We’ve really had an overwhelming number of people who have registered.”

Katy Rutherford and her family found out about the Learn to Curl program on-line.  She says it looked like fun so they all decided to give it a try.

“I have pretty low expectations,” she said.  “I’ve only seen curling during the Olympics so I mean coming out and having then teach us and literally knowing nothing to semi knowing nothing has been really fun.”

But the newcomers to the sport also found out it’s not as easy as it looks.  Dave Rose curled a couple of times with work when he was in his 20’s.  But he hasn’t been on the ice since.

Rose says the hardest part is when you’re throwing the rock.

“You’ve got one hand on the rock and the other on the broom and when you let go of the rock it kind of puts you out of balance.  So you see people often taking a tumble when you let go of the rock.”

Steve Hines is from England where curling isn’t exactly a big sport.  His wife if Canadian so he thought he should learn more about it. 

He says it’s a perfect activity that they can do together.

“We were looking for something to do together as a couple.  You know during the pandemic a lot of activities are off-limits.  We live close to the Garrison Curling Club so we thought why not let’s give it a go.”

This is the second Learn to Curl program the Garrison Curling Club has put on this year. There will be two more for newcomers in January.