Like every politician, I receive lots of invitations to many different types of events. Deciding which ones to accept is even harder than usual in the lead up to and during election campaigns. I have a small ‘reserve pile’ of ones I’d like to attend for interest’s sake, but would have to forgo if another engagement or obligation came up.
I had one such invite tonight which even during an election campaign managed to not get gazumped by a forum or a meeting or a speech. It was a demonstration and information evening put on by the Queensland Curling Association. Curling is one of those sports that had always fascinated me when I’ve seen it on TV, but I’d never seen live, and it seemed like a good chance to have a bit of a break from the intensity of the election campaign. I didn’t know it was played at all in Brisbane, but there is a club that meets and plays weekly at the ice rink at Boondall, in the northern suburbs of Brisbane.
It’s rather like lawn bowls played on ice, (except using big granite stones instead of bowls) with the addition that people sweep the ice madly as the stone slides down the ice to try to control its speed. The Australian men’s team is apparently a reasonable chance of qualifying for the winter Olympics for the first time, which would be an impressive feat, as unlike most other nations that compete internationally, there is no specialist curling facility in Australia. People have to use ice rinks instead, which is perhaps a bit like letting people play football on your bowling green.
Probably one of the most attractive things about it (apart from the very low risk of getting skin cancer or sun damaged skin) is that, like lawn bowls, people from young ages to quite old ages can play it relatively easily and compete relatively equally.
ADDENDUM: Just to show how you can never tell where you’re going to get media coverage, this blog post got some coverage in a column by the curling correspondent in Winnipeg, Canada.