Volunteers from the Curling Club of Virginia hosted a media day and taught members of various media outlets the basics of curling on Friday, February 16.
The instructor, BJ Palsa, went through the basics of curling and the type of ice on the rink. This included how to push off the hack, which is the foothold used by a player to start the delivery of the stone.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn a little bit about the sport, but then also see how we as a community would be able to get behind some of this,” John D. Watt, a tourism manager from the Chesterfield Economic Development, said.
The ice is “pebbled," a term used to describe the tiny droplets of water that are sprayed onto the ice, Palsa said. The brushing motion creates a microscopic layer of water to reduce friction, while also removing debris from ice.
“It definitely is challenging,” Catherine Brown, a writer for OurHealth Magazine, said. “It’s a lot to think about. Although it hasn’t been as overwhelming as I thought it might be.”
Palsa thoroughly explained each step, with a demonstration showing how to do the action, Watt said.
“These volunteers at the club are great,” Watt said. “I’ve talked to three or four of them, and they’re just, they’re really great.”
Watt was there looking at the economic influence of the curling club, he said. His intrigue with the Olympics also enticed him to go to the media day.
The Curling Club was founded in 2011 to promote the sport of curling, according to the club website. Palsa said that she started curling after the last Winter Olympics.
Palsa received a Learn2Curl as a present for her birthday, and she has been playing ever since. She said that she had also experienced health benefits from curling.
The sweeping motion incorporates core muscles as well as cardio, Palsa said. If she were to play two games in a night, she said she would easily put in 10,000 steps.
There are also behavioral benefits, Palsa said.
The ability to communicate between different positions is essential to the game, and it teaches you how to adapt to different personalities, Palsa said.
Richmond's minor league baseball team, the Flying Squirrels, had their mascot attend to learn how to curl.
“What a Friday morning!” Watt said. “ All the great things about Richmond!”
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