By Tari Wilson
Free curling lessons are inspiring both young and old to take up brooms and see what the trick is to throwing a 44-pound rock down the ice.
“Before coming last week I’d watched it on TV, but that’s about it. So now I know somewhat how to make that happen,” says Brett Keeble after his second lesson.
Keeble was one of 35 people who were at the Sunday afternoon lesson on March 18.
Halifax Curling Club has been offering the lessons for three weeks and hopes to continue until the end of the season.
“We had a bit of a slow start our first couple weeks, but it’s picked up. We were absolutely packed today,” says Allison Hudson, one of the curling instructors.
Hudson says the curling club is tucked away by the grain elevators and people don’t realize it’s even there.
“It’s after they find out and get involved in the community here that they realize how awesome it is,” says Hudson.
Keeble says, “I was actually surprised at how fun it was. It always seemed like kind of a slow sport with not too much activity going on, but after last time I came I was tired and sore after.”
Lissa Lawrence, a Saint Mary’s University student, came to the curling lesson to see if she could pick up where she left off when she stopped curling five years ago. She says it became too expensive while she was going to university.
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Spencer Stewart says, “There is a fair bit of cost associated with curling, once you get into it; brooms, curling shoes, membership dues. But really, it’s not a lot more than other sports when you get down to it.”
Stewart, a fourth-year Dalhousie architecture student, curls when he’s home in Maryland, but finds it difficult to find time while attending school. He didn’t attend the curling lesson, but says free clinics are a great way to introduce people to the sport.
“Curling is a wonderful social sport that you can do for a lifetime. The post-game drinking and hanging out with your opponents is half the fun,” says Stewart.
Curling instructor Andrew Komlodi, 20, has been curling since he was ten-years-old after his dad first taught him how to throw a rock, but he says anyone can begin curling.
“I think it’s important for people to learn how to play curling, it doesn’t matter what age you are or how good you are, the chance to get out and play and learn from someone who has had experience is valuable,” says Komlodi.