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A Curling We Will Go

Trying Out an Olympic Sport



The curling stone (also sometimes called a rock in North America) is made of granite and weighs between 38 and 44 pounds.

As I watched my daughter, Laurie, hurl a 42-pound stone down the ice and her teammates run after it sweeping brooms, I found myself intrigued by a sport I knew nothing about—curling. When Laurie had first called and asked if I would like to watch her play, I thought, “where in the world could someone curl around here?” It turns out, close by at The Nutmeg Curling Club in Bridgeport, next to Wonderland of Ice.

Inspired by watching the 2018 U.S. men’s curling team win an Olympic gold medal for the first time, Laurie had wanted to give the “it doesn’t look that hard” sport a try. A few months later, she got her chance at a Nutmeg Club open house event. All the equipment was provided—brooms, stones, shoe grippers, and ice time with certified instructors. Laurie was so enamored of the experience, she joined the beginner Greenhorn League, becoming one of 20,000 curlers in the U.S. There are 750,000 curlers in Canada and 1.5 million curlers worldwide.

When we arrived on the Greenhorn’s first day, I settled into the clubhouse and listened to an instructor’s talk. He explained that curling consists of two teams of four players who compete by throwing stones or “rocks” down the ice toward the center of three concentric rings. The players sweep the ice to control the “curl” which is the speed and direction. The object of the game is for a team’s rocks to be the closet to the center.

The sport of curling, like golf, started centuries ago in Scotland and are both games of precision. He also emphasized the positive atmosphere within curling; there is no trash talking and curlers often compliment an opponent’s good shots. Curlers are a fun-loving group and when the curling season (October through March) is over there are festive parties. 

When it was time for the Greenhorns to curl, I sat with a cup of tea and pressed my nose to the glass to watch them learning how to kneel down to throw the rock. I saw several of the curlers lose their balance and fall. Happily, no injuries were incurred as they were low to the ice. 

I talked to the couple next to me who said they had supported their daughter’s interests in ballet, swimming, cheerleading, and now curling. If your children are now grown and you are forlorn because you think you’ve seen the last of soccer matches, maybe someday you can watch them curl. Or perhaps they will come watch you curl, as the members’ ages range from middle school to early 80s. Longtime member, Kathy Morley, told me, “being 50-something and still sliding down the ice like I did in my 20s keeps me feeling young!”

Last year a team from Nutmeg won the U.S. Senior Women’s Bonspiel tournament in Phoenix. Nutmeg also has active wheelchair members. In fact, member, Steve Emt, was a lead player for the 2018 USA Paralympic team. They are also home to Yale University’s medal winning team.

When the energized Greenhorns emerged back into the clubhouse, I was curious about their experience. Laurie explained that, despite being heavy, the “rock” is not hard to throw; it glides easily from your hand. It’s balancing in the throwing position that’s challenging and the sweeping that’s fatiguing. Despite being called brooms, you’re not really sweeping to clean the ice but to create heat to make the ice slick. You have to press down forcefully and sweep as fast as you can. (It turns out it’s indeed harder than it looks.)

“Curling gives the opportunity to compete in a sport that requires a level of technical skill, teamwork, athletic ability, and mental focus in a very friendly and welcoming environment,” explains Craig Doucette, president of Nutmeg. Director Eric Sebastian adds, “the organization is totally run by volunteers. The people at the club really do become your family.”

In fact, Anita Bartlett White, widow of a Nutmeg founder, who curled well into her 90s felt so connected to the group she left her entire estate to the club. As we left the rink, I understood how someone could become so attached, as I was already looking forward to next time. 

(Photo of Laurie Newkirk and her husband Vincent Legg at a Nutmeg Open House.)


Nutmeg Curling Club offers Open House instructional sessions taught by certified instructors for $40. All ages are welcome and equipment is provided but reservations are needed. 123 Glenwood Ave, Bridgeport, 203-615-0077 nutmegcurling.com

 

 

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December 2018

Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, 11am – 12:30pm & 1:30 – 3pm Register online at http://www.fairfieldhistory.org Enjoy a “tea” with cookies and milk with characters from “A...

Cost: Adults: $10; Children: $5; Children 5 and under: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Fairfield Museum and History Center
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Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Westport Barnes and Noble Booksellers
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Pequot Library
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
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Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

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Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Cost: Free

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Stepping Stones Museum for Children
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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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Website »

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December 1 – December 31, 2018 Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm Fridays (December 7, 14, 21, 28), 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm Vacation Week, December 24, 26, 27 & 31, 10am...

Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

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Telephone: 203-899-0606
Contact Name: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
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Cost: Free

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Maritime Garage Gallery
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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1 Museum Dr
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Cost: $45 Chamber Members & FELO Members / $55 non Members

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Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
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Sponsor: Fairfield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-255-1011
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December 1 – December 31, 2018 Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm Fridays (December 7, 14, 21, 28), 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm Vacation Week, December 24, 26, 27 & 31, 10am...

Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

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Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Avenue
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Telephone: 203-899-0606
Contact Name: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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Cost: Free

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Telephone: 203-831-9063
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Cost: Free

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Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Sponsor: People's United Bank
Telephone: 203-259-1598
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Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Avenue
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Telephone: 203-899-0606
Contact Name: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Cost: Free

Where:
Bellarmine Hall
200 Barlow Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Sponsor: Fairfield University Art Museum
Telephone: 203-254-4046

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December 1 – December 31, 2018 Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm Fridays (December 7, 14, 21, 28), 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm Vacation Week, December 24, 26, 27 & 31, 10am...

Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
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More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
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11 North Water Street
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Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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View map »


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Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Show More...
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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Vagabond Theatre Company (VTC) presents their Second Annual Holiday Spectacular: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show. This year’s production, directed by VTC’s...

Cost: $15

Where:
Stony Creek Museum
84 Thimble Islands Road
Stony Creek, CT  06405
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Sponsor: The Vagabond Theater Company
Telephone: 203-520-8332
Contact Name: John R Smith Jnr
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A holiday tradition of family fun continues! • Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Southport Village • Decorate cookies • Make a pine cone bird feeder and other holiday crafts • Listen...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

December 1 – December 31, 2018 Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm Fridays (December 7, 14, 21, 28), 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm Vacation Week, December 24, 26, 27 & 31, 10am...

Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

A two-night Zeppelin throwdown is coming back to The Warehouse this December. It is no secret that women rock, and rock hard. Seeing the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute...

Cost: $38/ticket; $98 VIP; Members Save: $3/ticket

Where:
The Warehouse at FTC
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us on Friday evenings when the Train Show is open late for fun, hands-on activities and refreshments.

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Telephone: 203-899-0606
Contact Name: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, December 15, 10am – 11:30am OR 12 – 1:30pm. Register online at http://www.fairfieldhistory.org Holiday fun for the whole family. Celebrate the magic of the season by creating a...

Cost: Members: $15; Non-Members: $18 per house.

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Vagabond Theatre Company (VTC) presents their Second Annual Holiday Spectacular: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show. This year’s production, directed by VTC’s...

Cost: $15

Where:
Stony Creek Museum
84 Thimble Islands Road
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View map »


Sponsor: The Vagabond Theater Company
Telephone: 203-520-8332
Contact Name: John R Smith Jnr
Website »

More information

A two-night Zeppelin throwdown is coming back to The Warehouse this December. It is no secret that women rock, and rock hard. Seeing the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute...

Cost: $38; $98 VIP; Members Save: $3/ticket

Where:
The Warehouse at FTC
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Cost: 0

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Barnes & Noble at the Stamford Town Center
100 Greyrock Place
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Julie Jason
Telephone: 203-322-1198
Contact Name: Theresa Robbins
Website »

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December 1 – December 31, 2018 Monday – Thursday, 10am – 1pm Fridays (December 7, 14, 21, 28), 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm Vacation Week, December 24, 26, 27 & 31, 10am...

Cost: Members: Free; Adult: $5; Seniors & Student: $3; Children under 5: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Each night from November 20th through December 31st the museum is transformed into a dazzling holiday light extravaganza! Every surface of the museum’s exterior becomes a canvas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Telephone: 203-899-0606
Contact Name: Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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