September 2006

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Coyotes Curling Club Invites Arizonans

A Favorite ‘Frozen Watersport’

By Darryl Horsman

Out of the rivers flowing through Scotland came polished channel stones that were to become the first-generation curling stone. This was back in 1511!

Almost 500 years later, the sport of curling has become the darling of the Winter Olympics.

Since its first official debut at the 1988 games in Nagano, Japan, the sport of curling has seen some unprecedented growth throughout the United States.

For those who missed televised curling during the last Olympics, curling has been called the "shuffleboard" on ice. There are four players on a team who each "deliver" two stones each in an alternating fashion.

While one person is delivering the stone, two others are "sweeping" in front of the stone (actually heating up the ice so that the stone travels farther), and the "skip" is standing in the opposing rings watching the shot come to him.

The object of the game is to get as many of your colored stones closer to the center of those three rings, called the "button," than that of your opponent.

In the curling world, the game of chess has been used describe the flow of the game as curling is chalked full of strategy used to outwit your opponent.

Coyotes Curling Club Formed In 2002

The sport of curling has been in North America since the early 1800s with the first U.S. club started in 1832. In Phoenix, Ariz., the Coyotes Curling Club was formed in 2002 with the help of a few transplanted Canadians and Americans from colder climates where curling plays an important role in social, community, and sports programs.

Currently, the curling club meets for two 12-week sessions. The fall league begins mid-September and runs every Saturday for 12 weeks, and then after Christmas, the winter league commences mid-to-late January and enjoys another 12-week session.

To take part in or go to watch curling, the club meets at the Alltel Ice Den located on the Loop 101 (and Bell Road) in Scottsdale, Ariz.

As with any curling club, the Coyotes Curling Club has become an integral part of the community — most notably, the City of Calgary, Phoenix Sister Cities program — sharing the experience of curling through the many demonstrations held throughout the year. Also, the curling club helps out with various charities such as the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

Curling: A Sport For All Ages

Curling has flourished in Phoenix since its creation four years ago due to the overwhelming ease of learning the game. The game can be played as early as 6-7 years old and can be played as late as your 80s (in some cases, beyond)!

The club boasts a curler who is 77 years young! The club offers instruction on the game throughout the year. In less than two hours, their instructors can have you well on your way.

In addition, the love of the game arises from its social nature. Visiting with friends during and after the game is almost more important than winning or losing.

For more information on how to participate in curling and the Coyotes Curling Club, please visit their Web site at www.coyotescurling.com, or contact Darryl Horsman at (602) 300-4808.

For even more detailed information on curling, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curling

And, to find out more about Phoenix sister Cities Commission, Inc., phone (602) 534-3751, e-mail office.of.protocol@phoenix.gov, or visit www.phoenixsistercities.org.

Editor’s Note: It is my special pleasure to include curling as one of our "frozen" watersports for several reasons: 1) I thoroughly enjoyed curling myself — at the Glencoe Club in Calgary, Alberta, Canada — for the 21 years I lived there. 2) The Phoenix Sister Cities organization is open to all of us and offers the opportunity to participate in committees representing 10 cities around the world: Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico; Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czech Republic; Ramat-Gat, Israel, and Taipei, Taiwan. 3) There are also opportunities to be involved with other committees: Youth & Education; Arts, Sports &Culture; Membership/Sponsorship; Programs, and Disabilities Awareness.

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