VIDEO: Sheffield school children try curling

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Budding Winter Olympians tested out their curling skills at a special competition in Sheffield last week, to mark the end of the Sochi Games.

Pupils from 12 city primary schools were invited to take part in the curling competition at iceSheffield last Friday.

The event, supported by the Links School Sport Partnership, saw teams of up to five children take to the ice to try sliding stones towards a target.

Competitors were guided by qualified coaches and the winning team received a free family ice skating pass.

iceSheffield is the only ice rink in the North of England to offer curling and was used as a preparation camp for Team GB’s Winter Olympic figure skaters ahead of the Sochi 2014 Games.

Mandy Parker, general manager of iceSheffield, said: “It was a fantastic event and the children had certainly been inspired by the success of Team GB in Sochi.

“There are very few places in England that offer the chance to play curling so we are hoping this event will inspire the next generation of curling stars.

“With the sport’s increased profile during the Winter Olympics, we have seen a huge increase in demand for curling with more than 50 enquiries for bookings from school groups, social groups and business during the two weeks of Games.”

To cater for high demand, iceSheffield is now planning, in the very near future, to introduce a new, regular curling session onto its timetable every Wednesday.

Elderly people in Derbyshire, meanwhile, have got into the spirit of the Winter Olympics by playing their own version of the sport, New Age Kurling, which uses adapted stones on ball bearings.

Five five retirement homes in Bolsover have adopted the game, and resident Kay Garland said: “We had the Olympic curling on television while we were playing one day.

“It has made us really competitive.”