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North Bay Granite Club aims to bring more Indigenous women and girls into curling

There's a push at the North Bay curling club to get more Indigenous women and girls involved in the sport — and they've just received some funding to help in that effort.
Curling Canada is throwing some money at just a handful of curling clubs in the country, including the Granite Curling Club in North Bay, to attract women and girls to curling. The Granite Club is hoping to attract Indigenous girls to the sport. File photo. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

There's a push at the North Bay curling club to get more Indigenous women and girls involved in the sport — and they've just received some funding to help in that effort.

The Granite Club is one of five to receive the first ever Women's Curling Leaders' Circle Gender Equity Awards to help recruit and train new people to the sport.

The initiative was launched last month to support new projects and ideas that attract women and girls to curling. Winners will each receive $2,000 to help with their particular projects.

Club general manager Stacey Dobbin says the money will be used to provide equipment and training to the young curlers.

She notes they don't have any young female curlers who identify as Indigenous among their players.

And that represents a bit of a disconnect, as about 12 per cent of North Bay's population identify as Indigenous.

"It's grown that much over the last 10 years. So we feel our sport should be out there and available and being played by everyone," Dobbin said.

She adds talks are underway between the club and with Nipissing First Nation and the North Bay Friendship Centre to help recruit.

"We want to learn from them as well. Our opening ceremony will be led by the Indigenous leaders in our community and then our closing ceremony will be run by them as well. We're hoping that they might do some workshops to teach us different things that we don't know as well."

The Granite Curling Club in North Bay is the recipient of one of the first Women's Curling Leaders Circle Gender Equity Awards. It's a grant to attract women and girls to curling. In this case, the money will be used to attract indigenous women and girls. Stacey Dobbin of the Granite Club joined us with more details. 5:16

With files from Markus Schwabe and Martha Dillman

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