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HomeNewsCurling Club receives grant to get Indigenous youth involved in sport

Curling Club receives grant to get Indigenous youth involved in sport

North Bay Curling Club’s Stacey Dobbin is a winner of the inaugural Women Curling Leaders’ Circle Gender Equity Awards from Curling Canada.

Dobbin, the club’s manager, is one of five recipients of the award across Canada and will receive $2,000 to focus on getting Indigenous youth involved in curling. 

“To see us be able to put a little bit of grant money towards what our plans are, it’s pretty important,” Dobbin said. 

Dobbin plans on holding a Learn to Curl event specifically targeted toward Indigenous youth girls.

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“We want to offer them something that they’re going to enjoy, but also something that’s going to be very good for their physical and mental health,” she explained.

The award stems from an initiative by Curling Canada to get more women and girls to enjoy the sport. 

Dobbin knows her club is in need of more equity in the younger ranks, noting that just 15 percent of the junior players are girls. She adds there are no Indigenous youth who play. 

“With women in most sports, the numbers just aren’t there,” Dobbin said. “This is one step that we can try and help in this area.”

Dobbin has only been involved in curling since she moved to North Bay seven years ago. She says she joined a Learn to Curl session as a way to meet people, quickly taking to the sport and ultimately being named General Manager of the Curling Club in 2020. 

As a mother of four daughters, Dobbin knows the impact sports can have on youth. 

“Sport is such a positive thing with children. It gives you the physical activity you need. It’s great emotionally,” she said. “Everything leads to a healthier lifestyle; the community is going to get healthier.”

The curling club is currently closed due to the provincial stay-at-home order, but Dobbin hopes to get the program running when it ends.

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