Curling has lots of reasons to be loved

Another curling season has come and gone, another great season is behind us. Which brings me to the question, why do we curl?

Another curling season has come and gone, another great season is behind us. Which brings me to the question, why do we curl?

Perhaps for the romance of the game?

From the opening handshakes and “good curling” wishes to the “good game” handshakes and socializing after the game, curling is one great pastime.

Although some have called it “shuffleboard on ice,” supporters say it’s a game with a grand Canadian tradition of skill, strategy and sportsmanship.

Canadians love curling and they’ve produced some of the world’s best players. Every four years, the Olympics tend to give birth to new curling fans. The 2010 games appear to have sparked even greater interest than in the past, perhaps because live curling matches coincided with prime-time TV hours.

Data taken from a 2008 survey suggested that over 729,000 Canadians over the age of 18 curl.  That works out to 2.82 per cent of the population.  Of that 729,000, 37 per cent of all curlers were between the ages of 35-49 years of age.

Information from the survey suggest some curl because they are “health enthusiasts,” some are “sports minded jocks.”

So, why do I love thee (curling)? Let me explain.

It helps to develop balance, coordination and flexibility.

It’s like a game of “chess on ice”; it  aids concentration, confidence and self-esteem.

It is a multi-generation sport. From the very young to the young at heart, curling excludes no one.

The skill, endurance and competition of the game.

Maybe we curl for the physics of the game? The challenge of determining some factors such as temperature of the ice, the pebble on the ice and the rotation of the stone

Curling is affordable.  Typically, from $175 to $300 per year.

Curling has a fitness component to it, with some aerobic and cardiovascular benefits.

Curling, at its heart, is a very social sport.  Your opponents are part of a curling fraternity.

Curling is a friendly sport, you shake hands before the game and again afterwards.

Whether you curl because you just need something to get off the couch in the winter or if you enjoy the socializing (broomstacking) after the game, curling is not just a game; it’s a culture.

When you are looking for a new activity to participate in the fall, consider curling. It’s a simple sport to learn with many unexpected rewards.

Thanks to the members who have supported our club over the past year. I hope you take a moment to reflect on this past season, one of new friendships and the rekindling of old. Be proud that you have participated in a sport that is full of traditions, kind etiquettes and social graces. Until next fall, happy golfing everyone.

Kim Kirkham is the spokesperson for the Penticton Curling club.