A curling diversion

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.

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  1. I love curling!

    It’s one of those ‘you gotta watch this – what the hell is it’ type things from the winter olympics.

    It would be fantastic to have Australia compete – I hope the team gets there.

  2. I think it’s both bizarre and fantastic that we have people doing this in Australia.

    (Sneakily he adds) Might it count as elements of another culture becoming part of Australiab culture?

  3. this is reversion to (anglo)celtic culture, presumably played by people who dare not step out in the sun. lawn bowls for redheads..

  4. Ah! Diversions!An interesting one there Senator,but, gee, you know Greenhouse Gas stuff..did you do a test of that for curling!? Finally Dr.Karl from the Climate Change Coalition, has come some distance with me on matters of Sydney s carbon dioxide emissions in a thought experiment of the equivalence of Sydney s carbon dioxide as compressed gas.The final step of turning smaller real values of gas to something useful directly is not outside his thinking.I felt for a long time Sydney had no lateral thinkers,and as much as I cannot stand him much as a presenter,he is only closed minded,about some aspects of natural healing.I still have one major doubt about Karl which ,was something I heard on his programme where he was suggesting dropping nuke wastes somewhere at the top end where the tectonic plates rub and its all mud like!?I hope he isnt being a sneak for the Nuke industry.And research caverns could be done for other reasons including earth quake related matters,and as a natural matter of interest.None of this is Queensland,but,Karl is pretty smart and must of imagined spreading his wings further sometime in the future.How about a ice rink for Wallangarra and Queensland twin town, so my sports tragic nature,that is I would be a fan of ice hockey except,I havent a TV and its mainly played in Canada,by um, young fit good looking types,females too probably, so when I am ensconced in Government,like Howard ,I can claim being a tragic,about a faster game! Converting Carbon Dioxide,for that purpose is possible,and maybe an Australian plastic could be useful too that can collect co2 in its small pores!Thinking up uses for Carbon Dioxide seems a worthy distraction,whilst it remains a serious problem.Calcium carbonate skiing anyone!?

  5. And ya know, a couple of conversations at the curling demonstration and you could get a couple of dozen votes out of it. Maybe not entirely efficient, but there is a life to be led as well.

  6. I always thought curling had something to do with hair, false eyelashes or getting an electric shock.

    I wonder how the sport got that name. Perhaps the granite stones “curl” across the ice.

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