Anyone in the Alexandra area wanting to learn or improve curling skills has the opportunity this school term to learn from one of the country’s best — New Zealand representative Natalie Thurlow.
Thurlow is part of the women’s team that will represent the country at the Pan-Continental Curling Championships 2022 in Calgary, Canada, from October 31.
She said although her coaching classes at the Alexandra Curling Rink each Wednesday morning from 10.30am were for all-comers, there was a definite desire to get more women involved in the sport.
‘‘I think curling is seen as a male sport, traditionally, but it’s a sport where women can compete with men on an even playing field,’’ she said.
‘‘At our national championships, we have more men than women, and a lack of women curlers is the limiting factor for our mixed teams.’’
A group of female friends who attended the coaching session last week had been inspired by Jan Sangster of Bannockburn, whose late husband, Duncan, was a keen curler.
Mr Sangster died two years ago and a memorial is held for him at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink each year around the time of his birthday, Mrs Sangster said.
‘‘I got a group of friends together about six weeks ago and we all had a go then. Since then, there have been five or six keen ladies.’’
She said when curling competitively, ‘‘you need to use your head a wee bit, and that’s where Nat has been really good’’.
‘‘She spent five minutes explaining things and it all made much more sense.’’
— At fundraiser for the New Zealand women’s curling team will take place at the Maniototo Curling Rink on August 28 from 5pm. Tickets are limited and available through the rink.