P.A. business helps school buy curling equipment

Matt Gardner
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Shellbrook Elementary School students have a new component to their phys-ed program thanks to one Prince Albert business.

As a sponsor for the Capital One Rocks and Rings program, P.A.-based Kleen-Bee Janitorial and Restaurant Supplies donated one set of curling equipment to the school that included rubber mats, brushes and rocks.

“They were after three sets of equipment,” Kleen-Bee owner and general manager Robert Georget said. “So we got on board with them and we donated one set of curling equipment for them to get the program going, and just basically to teach the kids the curling -- the participation and the effect the sport can have on the kids.”

As a company specializing in janitorial supplies and equipment, Georget added, there was another reason for Kleen-Bee’s donation of curling equipment.

“We don’t have very many fun products,” he joked. “So that’s why we wanted to get involved with something that was more of a positive effect for the community.”

Unlike traditional curling, the indoor floor curling equipment donated to the students on Thursday does not require ice and is designed for use on a gym floor.

“There’s a rubber mat where the circles are, and then the stones are actually a plastic disc with a handle … Three big bearings underneath the rocks roll on the floor, and they can curl and they can sweep them (with) the same effect as you do on ice,” Georget said.

As part of the program, a Capital One Rocks and Rings instructor visits a school for the day and takes over the gym, offering consecutive 40-minute sessions of curling lessons to students that include drills, relays and team-building activities.

While Shellbrook Elementary School had been looking into Rocks and Rings for a few years, it was only after the program expanded to Saskatchewan in 2012 that the opportunity presented itself.

“We were excited,” teacher and acting principal Cheryl Ledding said. “We have a strong curling community. Wednesday nights we have this junior program that we started probably three years ago … and we’ve got a lot of young kids interested in curling, so we’ve been trying to get this program to come to our school so that we could use it in our school as well.

We’ve got a lot of young kids interested in curling. Cheryl Ledding

“So our principal contacted Rocks and Rings via email … and they accepted and they come to the school. They set it up and they bring their own equipment and they teach the kids the fundamentals of curling.”

Kleen-Bee already had a history of charitable work with the school prior to helping them purchase the indoor curling equipment.

Its most direct previous contribution was a program offering cases of toilet paper that allowed the school to make a profit off each box they sold.

“We’ve had a few donations from Kleen-Bee,” Ledding said. “They’ve helped us with some fundraising with toilet paper … we purchased snowshoes last year and so this year now we’re doing the curling. So we’ve been really fortunate.”

The school is hoping to raise enough money for two more sets of curling equipment through continued toilet paper sales.

Aside from use in the school’s forthcoming winter carnival, Ledding expected the equipment to become a regular feature of the students’ physical education.

“We’re hoping that we can re-use it on a regular basis,” she said. “For sure we would use it a lot in the winter, but whenever the teacher wants to use it.

“It’s easy to access -- all you do is roll out the mat and the rocks are in a little case, so you can use it whenever you like.”

Organizations: Capital One, Shellbrook Elementary School

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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