The make up of Riverside Secondary’s Curling team is different for the 2022-23 school year. German international students show great potential heading into the upcoming winter season. David Romani, Riverside Secondary School teacher and Curling Team head coach, sees a great future for them.

Going back to the 1500’s, curling has been a part of Canadian culture. Brought to Canada by the Scottish, the sport was introduced in order to pass long hard winter months.

Popular around the world, many were exposed to the sport while watching the winter Olympics. This was the case for German International student Tessa Loy. “Curling is not very popular in Germany,” said Loy. She was only able to learn the basics of the sport by watching it on television.

The broom, the stone and the ice – the great Canadian Game!

Romani acquired his passion for curling at a young age, from his parents. He created the curling team at Riverside, after repeated requests from students almost 20 years ago. “You would have to check the exact year in the yearbook because it has been that long,” said Romani. Now with over 30 years of experience and hundreds of students curling under his guidance, Romani has become an expert in the sport. His current team this year is composed of six players, two players are international students from Germany and the remaining players, are returning Riverside students to the team.

For such a technical sport, the German players have impressed Romani. “Even in the early weeks of practice, the students have learned a lot,”  said Romani. With this early success and potential of the team, members are wanting more. “Training has been going good, but I am more looking forward to games,” said Loy. The games, organized by the district, will not begin until the winter season. This is a disappointment for many players. Romani estimates another six weeks of practice should allow them to be ready to scrimmage.

Curling is not a simple sport to grasp; there are many rules involved. Anyone interesting in understanding curling should know the following basic rules. Two teams of four players, play head-to-head on a narrow strip of ice. Each team member takes turns sliding and releasing “throwing” stones down the ice. The goal is to get as close to the center of the bullseye, called the “house” in order to score points. The stones used in curling, are concave in shape at the base to reduce friction and commonly weigh between 38 to 44 pounds. Synthetic bristle brooms are used in curling and are specifically designed for use on ice. These brooms help control friction and direction of the stones.

Be prepared to watch this team once the winter season arrives sometime in December, as jam packed talent will be displayed.