I was lucky enough to be introduced to curling in 2006 after the Olympics. Luckily my friends and I found a club, Waltham Curling Club, that was within a few hours of us and they had an Open House.
It was awesome.
The club members there were so inviting and welcoming. They just loved the sport and loved sharing it with us. We instantly felt like we belonged. I literally was giddy on the way home and when my friend suggested joining, I don’t think I could have blurted out my response any faster. Yes!
So the three of us joined. The first season was great. We jumped right in and played in a league and every member there was ready to help teach us about the game. We received countless hours of coaching and advice sessions. We “broomstacked” with everyone as often as we could. We were hooked.
The other members suggested a “bonspiel.” So, we went to our first bonspiel. We signed up for the Watermelon Open at Pardeeville Curling Club (which might be the best first bonspiel for anyone to go to). When we arrived, we were nervous because we had no idea what to expect. They couldn’t possibly be as nice and welcoming as back home, right? A bonspiel will be much more competitive and not friendly. Oh were we surprised. It was nothing like we could have ever dreamt of. From the moment we arrived at the club, we knew we were in the right spot, the right bonspiel, the right sport.
We were used to highly competitive sports and were just amazed at the camaraderie, sportsmanship and community of curling. In other sports you always would say nice shot or good game… but you don’t necessarily mean it. In curling, you do mean it. You want to see them make an amazing shot. You want to congratulate them when they do. After the game, you want to broomstack (where the winners buy the drinks). You really enjoy the companionship from the team that just beat you. You want to share stories. You want to be a part of the great community.
Looking back, I guess I wasn’t “lucky” to be introduced in 2006… I was unlucky to not be introduced so much earlier!
If you ever talk to a curler, I’m sure you will get this great feeling.
If you ever have the chance to curl… do it, no matter what. You won’t regret it. You will love curling, but more importantly you will love your fellow curlers.
It’s more than curling; it’s community!