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Focus On… Curling

Why this may be the perfect time to give Curling a try!

Curling fever sweeps the nation every four years and is recreated in kitchens, using mops to sweep, and tins of food to slide across the floor. TV shows feature the discipline and the athletes become household names - our indigenous Scottish sport becomes headline news. This year, 10 Scottish Olympians and five Scottish Paralympians will take to the ice in February and March, hoping to continue a long tradition of Team GB Olympic Curling success in Beijing.

Curling for everyone

For 10,000 curlers across Scotland though, curling fever isn’t a once every four years hit – it is happening every day. The sport can also be adapted to make it as inclusive as possible. Scottish Curling’s Head of Development, Maggie Wilson, says; scottish curler
“The beauty of curling is that it is a fully inclusive sport where players of different genders, abilities and ages are able to compete on the same sheet of ice.”

There are many ways to adapt the game to allow everyone to enjoy it – as well as the sliding delivery seen the Olympics, you can adopt a stick delivery either from a sitting or even from a standing or walking position. The sport attracts new members from all age groups - It’s a great discipline for retirees looking to keep active, students looking to make new friends or, like many of the Beijing athletes, those with an Olympic or Paralympic dream.

Wheelchair curling 

Wheelchair curling will also be on display at this year’s Paralympics. The Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association runs dedicated events and there is a network of wheelchair curling clubs up and down the country that offer the perfect place for wheelchair users to learn the sport.

“Curling is a very accessible sport for all abilities and disabilities” says John McLelland of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association.

“Anyone who would like to try wheelchair curling should contact their nearest ice rink or Scottish Curling and just have a go.”

wheelchair curling

Try it yourself

Currently, it couldn’t be easier to try curling. The TryCurling website is the recommended first stop, which allows you to register for an introductory Try Curling session at your local ice rink. If you catch the bug, there are beginners courses at 600 clubs to choose from across 20 ice rinks - you’re sure to find a club that suits what you want to get out of your new sport. Peter Baird of Glasgow Gateway Club says;
“The clubs help new curlers to get experience of playing games without worrying. This lack of pressure leads to new curlers gaining confidence. We also have regular sessions where positions are changed to allow everyone experience different roles and improve curling delivery and technique.”

Amy Mitchell in action

Pictured in action Amy Mitchell. Photo credit: Scottish Curling/Brian Battensby.

Scotland also has a network of Junior Clubs with players ranging from eight to 21. Junior players can work their way up from Funspiels right up to the National Scottish Curling Junior Championship where the winner has the chance to represent Scotland at the World Junior Championships. This can benefit young curlers both on an off the ice as Amy Mitchell of Greenacres Young Curlers found out;

“I have met so many lifelong friends since I started curling at age 8. Curling has already given me so many experiences and opportunities and it has grown my confidence on and off the ice.”

Last November, Scottish Curling celebrated National Curling Day and invited members to share why they love curling. You can watch the video below.

 

So, this year, when you are sat on the sofa watching Scotland’s finest curlers in Beijing, don’t let the curling fever pass you by. It may be the perfect time to get involved and give it a try!

Find Out More

- About Scottish Curling

- Stories about Curling on Sport First

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