When I was 7 years old my grandfather picked me up from my house one early Sunday morning and drove me across Ottawa. He brought me to the RCMP curling club and asked me if I wanted to try to play.
That was the beginning of how my life would change.
That was twelve years ago. When I talk about the curling, people will tilt their heads and ask “Is curling even a sport?” Or they’ll say, “Oh yeah I saw that in the Olympics once.”
I like to explain that the sport is a bit like “chess on ice.”
Algonquin College once had a varsity curling team. They had a team in 2014, 2011 and 2007. It didn’t continue because of the lack of players and budget issues. The team would also only compete in two tournaments and would barely practice because Algonquin doesn’t have a facility. For the teams to curl they would have to rent ice somewhere in the city of Ottawa.
Today, all that’s left are the words “varsity curling” on the wall in the hall beside N building. Although Algonquin’s team is now gone, I argue that we need to bring it back. Students should have the opportunity to experience the sport of curling.
When I started curling I thought it was crazy weird. “Why am I doing this?” I’d ask myself. I’d also think, “this is hard” when I stepped out on the ice. These were constant thoughts that went through my head. But I went again and again and I’m glad I pursued it.
I made some friends that I would see every Sunday and I eventually became their teammate.
We started competing in small tournaments around Ottawa and it was incredible. Stepping on the ice with three other guys who wanted to win just as bad I did was something fantastic to experience.
At first, that was what kept me going. The sense of accomplishment when you’d win a game. You would always want to win again.
Curling has a reputation of being a gentleman’s sport. This essentially means that respect is the top concern. Gentlemen’s sports include tennis, golf and, of course, curling. Curling does not have a referee in most cases. The teams govern themselves. Disputes or physical aggression is extremely frowned upon and in some cases, a player or a whole team can get banned from competing in competitive play.
This teaches curlers to earn respect.
And as I grew, I played with different teammates and represented different curling clubs. I had the opportunity to travel, which is fantastic.
No matter your age, no matter where you are from, there is a spot for you in a curling club. There are learn-to-curl programs for any age across the city, at any of the multiple curling clubs. Curling is known for being a sport that can be learned and played at any age.