You know the place. You’ve passed one in every town you’ve driven through in Canada. It’s that old, sacred, often run down – though much loved – building that brings in congregations by the masses. And while you don’t necessarily come out of there feeling any more holy, it’s still the best place in the world to spend a Sunday.
We’re talking about the other church: the local Curling Club.
Stepping inside, the first thing you notice is the décor which has stood the test of time, and that familiar smell consumes you. You enter the gallery and peer down the cathedral-like stretch of ice to the façade of score boards along the far wall. You are overwhelmed with the eerie sense this place is oozing with tradition and history.
Maybe this is a virgin curling experience for you, or perchance you are here to guide someone else through the wonderful world that is curling. Young or old, beginner or seasoned – whatever your reason, you are always welcome in the house of curling.
You walk out on the ice where it’s slippery and cold. But there’s no time to dwell as there’s etiquette to be followed (much of which doesn’t really make sense.)
It is quiet.
The ruler of the house stands at the altar and guides your next move.
You bend down, as if to genuflect to the curling gods, and then release.
People yell “Hurry…Hurry HARD” as you deliver your rock to its final resting place, the button. And that shot just won the game – Salvation.
Afterwards you recess to the lounge to partake in the post-game social where tradition dictates that the winners buy a round for the losers. This is a time to break bread and get to know each other. Some might say this is the real reason you curl – to join in the fellowship of the curling society.
Will this become a weekly ritual for you, or will you only curl on special occasions? Will you strive to represent Team Canada or are you really just in it for the beer? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome at the Curling Club in whatever town you land in.
And your Sunday best is always encouraged.
~Written by Blythe Underys