Ice cool teams look for young players to swell curling ranks

A GROUP of South Lakeland sportsmen and women are looking for newer, younger players to join their curling teams.

Six stalwart teams from the district play the sport at the Lockerbie ice rink once a month under their team names of West Callies, Windermere Rotary, Nomads, Kentside Probus, The Farmers and Medics and Ice Cubes.

Windermere Golf Club ruled the roost last season after a number of years as runners-up and were presented with the Royal Bank of Scotland Salver after defeating West Callies 11-3 over eight ends on the last day of the season.

Curling is played in teams of four consisting of a head or skip, and three other players called ‘number one stone’, ‘number two stone’ and ‘number three stone’.

The head or skip directs the teams and the stones are made of granite and thrown down an ice rink similar to a game of bowls, with four rings surrounding a target which the stone has to reach.

Once thrown two members of the team can brush the ice if directed by the skip to help alter the state of the ice and influence where the stone will end up. Each match consists of eight ends.

Curling is thought to have been invented in medieval Scotland in the early 16th century.

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The players travel up to Lockerbie ice rink as it is the best place near South Lakeland to participate in the sport.

Lockerbie ice rink runs curling beginners classes and have qualified coaches on hand to help teach anybody wanting to get involved with the sport.

“Players in the South Lakes League throughly enjoy their visits to Lockerbie,” said Ann Muir, one of the organisers of the league and a player for West Callies who lives in Grange-over-Sands.

“The majority of the players we have are over 80 although there are also players that are in their 40s, so we’re looking to bring in some more people to play.

“It’s a sport for any age and gender and it’s a great day out for people wanting to take part.”

January 31 is the next time the South Lakes League will play at Lockerbie Ice Rink, with Kentside Probus taking on West Callies, the Ice Cubes playing the Nomads, and defending champions Windermere Rotary Club up against the Farmers and Medics.

Anybody wishing to take part in curling can contact Ann on 015395 34210, or by email at muiranne@ymail.com.

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