Stirling is the home of curling, with dedicated ice sheets at the special Olympic facility at The Peak, Stirling Sports Village, in the town centre.
Curling is a sport that caters for players at all levels and physical abilities. If you’re not flexible or fit enough to lunge on the ice to deliver your stone towards a target, you can use a delivery stick. This makes it possible to participate even if you’ve got arthritic knees or can’t get out of a wheelchair, though the athletes among us can be competitive too.
Curling is a sport I’d never tried before the weekend. But, after two hours, I’m hooked and keen to sign up for regular sessions.
Curling is a lot like bowling on ice, only the ball is a stone that needs to glide across the ice to a target after it is set off on its path by one team member – and the others get to work sweeping brooms in front to keep the stone on track.
The team that gets a stone closest to the bulls-eye or has more stones in the zone – called the “house” – wins.
I’m a big sissy on ice, so it was with much trepidation that I stepped onto the curling sheet. To my relief, the ice isn’t particularly slippery. Its texture makes it possible to walk – and run! – on it in trainers. Special grips are available as are footpads to help you push off faster if you so desire.
We had a wonderful group lesson, with the patient and kind Elspeth, who shared her love of the game by making sure everyone in the two teams of three could play to their level.
Curling is Scottish speciality, though it’s also played elsewhere. It’s a great night out for a family or group of friends, though book in advance to secure a sheet for a game or a lesson.
- This blog post is sponsored by Stirling’s Castle Walk Bed & Breakfast, an historic 8-room guest house. Book directly to claim a discount – and ask Jackie to help you book a lesson or session in curling while you are visiting Stirling. Cite Stirling Life as the promo code.