Curling is a lifelong physical activity that improves aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance. It is also a very social game that is a lot of fun, and not very expensive. Curling may be an Olympic and Paralympic sport, but many students have never watched a game or participated in the activity before. This levels the playing field for students, and is one of the reasons why it is never too late for anyone (even adults) to join a curling club for the first time.
Curling requires ice, so you will need to plan a field trip if you would like your class to give it a try. Luckily, most communities in Canada have a curling club, and most of them are looking to recruit younger players. This means that they are often very eager to host schools; sometimes even providing small group coaching or multiple lessons for free or for a minimum charge.
If you go curling, make sure that your students bring clean flat shoes with them. Any rocks or dirt can ruin the ice, so this is very important. It is also a good idea to show them this Two Minute Guide to the Sport of Curling video from Curl BC before the field trip so that they get an idea of what to expect.
When you get to the curling club each student will receive a slider (for their foot) and a broom (to sweep). You will then head down to the sheet (ice) to learn how to throw the rock as well as grip and release. Students will most likely practice the movement without a rock, with a rock, and then releasing the rock. The next step is teaching students how to sweep, so students will practice throwing and sweeping a few times each. Curling Canada has Discover Curling videos that break down these skills if you would like to review them or show them to your class before the field trip.
The final step is to play some games. Teams of four and will alternate throwing rocks with another team. Once all sixteen rocks have been thrown, the end is complete. The team with the rock(s) closest to the button (centre circle) score point(s). A regular game is ten ends, but we play shorter games due to time constraints and to keep it fun by mixing up who is playing who.
To find a curling centre near you visit Curling Canada’s Curling Centre Directory.