The World Wheelchair Championship was recently played at The Peak in Stirling, reminding us of the international quality of curling with teams from 12 countries including Korea, Canada, China, Slovenia, Norway, Scotland and USA. As a helper, it was exciting to be part of such a fraternity and to see how curling has become a game for all.
But such friendly rivalry is not new. As early as 1820 there were curlers in North America and by 1877 there were many clubs active in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
All games were played, as now, to the rules of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club of Scotland based in Edinburgh, with the then Prince of Wales as its Patron.
Despite a feeling among American curlers that they were more talented than the Scots, they valued the connection that curling gave them with their Scottish heritage and challenge matches drew huge crowds. Frequently Scotland won!
At a speech made in New York in 1877 at a curling AGM the President of the Club said “In cherishing the memories of the game of our native land we are in no way undutiful to the land of our adoption. There would be fewer pale and anxious faces on our streets and fewer dyspeptics among them if more of our businessmen would occasionally, on a winter’s afternoon, throw aside the ledger and enjoy a hearty bonspiel on the ice.”
This sentiment could still hold today although sadly the game is now seldom played outside.
And, happily, ladies now enjoy the game just as much as men and mixed teams play along side single sex teams and wheelchair curlers alongside able bodied.
Kippen Curling Club, established in 1843, is an active, enthusiastic mixed club which welcomes players, new or experienced. We enjoy playing Club matches as well as local competitions. Recently Kippen beat Fintry to retain the Culcreuch Cup, played for annually since 1890.
Lessons are available at the Peak and then the Virtual Club gives a great training before joining a local club.
So, give a thought to joining us to play this historic game.
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