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Rockslide: The coach’s perspective

In the build-up to our Rockslide Summer Camp, which is in Kelowna from July 7-10, we spoke to coaches Dean Joanisse and Darryl Horne about what they think the camp can offer young curlers.

How many years have you been coaching?Darryl coaching crop

Darryl: I’ve been coaching for many years; it has probably been about 35 years. I have been to all but one of the Rockslide camps (there have been five). I’ve also been involved with similar camps in Alberta.
Dean: I’ve coached a lot over the years and done a bunch of other instructional stuff as well. I helped out at camps when I was a teenager and did a handful of years at the Four Foot summer camps. This year will be my second time at Rockslide.

Why do you think young curlers should attend Rockslide?

Dean's Answer

It’s the highlight of the summer and just the best experience. When the kids get there they will establish tons of friendships and relationships because there are all these people coming together with a shared interest.
Everyone has a really good time and it’s suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter what level your experience is, you will enjoy it and when you leave you will have all these new friends. I had forgotten just how great the friendship part of it was until I went back and saw it again as an instructor. It’s the fun and the friends that keep you coming back.
The camp is also good for courage and self-esteem because it is hard to know what to expect. Turning up at camp is a bit like the first day at school because it is a little intimidating when you arrive but soon everyone is enjoying themselves and having a great time.

Darryl's Answer

They have the opportunity to be exposed to great coaching and there’s a wide range of coaches so they get lots of different perspectives.
The most important thing is that they will have fun as there is no pressure to perform. They’ll get to play games, take part in different activities and get to meet lots of other curlers. One of the real benefits is that it expands your BC curling circle as you get to meet new people from different areas. Last year there were some boys from a remote part of the Kootenays who were looking for some other curlers to create a team and they found some people in the same situation at Rockslide and now they have a team. There was another guy from the Interior who was moving to Vancouver Island for university and he met some people who he could curl with out there.
Rockslide has a high performance section too and that offers talented curlers the chance to improve in a competitive situation. Also, the camp’s in a great location for parents as they can come to Kelowna, drop off the kids and then go and do other things like play golf or tour the vineyards.

What is your favourite Rockslide moment or memory?

  • Darryl: It’s not a memory but what I really enjoy is the chance to work with kids who are keen, and then be able to work with them again in the future and build on what they learnt at camp.
  • Dean: There are too many great moments to remember. If I had to pick one it would be doing my first session at Rockslide as I hadn’t been to a camp in six or seven years and I was feeling a bit apprehensive. I didn’t know if my knowledge would be well received and I felt nervous so I shared that with the kids and then things went really well. It’s also just great to be around people who want to learn and are passionate about the sport. It’s pretty cool.


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