Curling: Star boys enjoy a clean sweep at Ice Sheffield

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It’s the kind of sport that every time it appears on TV, people get the urge to give it a go.

The success of Team GB’s curling teams at the Winter Olympics in Sochi recently (silver for the men and bronze for the women), has ratcheted the interest further and Ice Sheffield is hoping to ride on the wave of hype.

Sports reporters Danny Hall and Chris Holt try curling at Ice Sheffield

Sports reporters Danny Hall and Chris Holt try curling at Ice Sheffield

The facility is putting on a six-week Learn to Curl programme, in a bid to perhaps see some South Yorkshire representation in future Winter Games.

David Bly, Curling Development officer at Ice Sheffield said: “I think we’ve just nipped in quickly enough to latch onto the high interest levels in curling, which has been steadily rising over the past few years.

“As a facility we are capable enough of filling four curling lanes.

“It’s a sport for anyone really, no matter what their physical capabilities are, anyone can go and enjoy.

“Ultimately we want people to take up the sport and perhaps feel that this could be for them and try to be the best that they can be, with perhaps ambitions to compete at a higher level.

“But it isn’t all about that. It is a recreational sport that anyone can enjoy and we want to be able to offer that to people regularly.”

The curiosity got the better of me too and so, along with Star Sport colleague Danny Hall, I went along to try it out.

How difficult could it be, sliding a big heavy round thing over ice?

Danny Hall with coach Jade Ledger

Danny Hall with coach Jade Ledger

Well that’s the beauty of curling - it’s more of a challenge than you would think by looking at, as our pictures document.

Thanks to Jade Ledger, our coach for the day, we mastered the basics but it takes a delicate touch and perhaps we just don’t know our own strength as the backboard took a regular battering.

As a sport it ticks two boxes. Firstly, it’s challenging enough to have you wanting to keep going back, but more importantly it’s fun and something the entire family can enjoy.

For the record, as part of our challenge, Danny’s dodgy, or maybe revolutionary technique, saw him through to take the victory, with my celtic background and viking-like beard clearly having no impact.

n Designed for people of all ages, the sessions will take place every Wednesday from 4.15pm to 5.15pm.

The six lessons will cover the basics of curling, including key skills such as pushing off from the blocks, sliding and sweeping, as well as the rules of the game.

The Sheffield International Venues (SIV) facility is also putting on an extra give-it-a-go session for members of the public which will take place on Friday 14 March from 2.15pm to 3pm and 3pm to 3.45pm.

For more information about curling at iceSheffield, visit www.icesheffield.com.

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