Story By Ben Lakavage
With the creation of a Cedar Cliff lacrosse team last year, it is clear that the school wishes to support a wider variety of sports being offered at the Cliff. Knowing this, Cedar Cliff should expand its sports programs to include curling.
Curling is a sport in which players slide a stone across ice in an effort to make it land in a red bullseye at the other end of the rink. Two sweepers use brooms to modify the consistency of the ice in front of the stone to change its speed and resistance to movement.
Implementing this sport would provide a new way to get active and engage in a team sport. Team strategy and preparation are key to the success of the players.Without planned timing and careful execution, a round of curling falls apart.
Including curling would also be a great way for students to engage in physical activity without the rigor of a physical contact sport. There is no tackling or checking in curling, making it a safer sport for those concerned with the dangers a full contact sport possesses while still giving the physical activity.
According to Health Fitness Revolution, curling offers a wide array of physical activity and health benefits. Curling gives its players the chance to strengthen lower and upper body muscles through the ice skating and sweeping aspects of the game. The game also improves flexibility, speed and precision through its quick gameplay.
Another benefit to adding a curling team to Cedar Cliff’s sport offerings is that anyone can participate. Curling is a gender-blind sport, allowing anyone to play. It also has opportunities for the disabled to participate in a competitive sport, whereas our current sports do not offer that opportunity.
This sport would be easy to implement, too. Ice skating rinks in the area who currently support Cedar Cliff students in ice hockey already have the capacity to host curling rinks and events.
One setback to implementing curling would be the lack of other high school teams available for competition. The Cedar Cliff team would need to compete against local teams to start. Hopefully, once the word gets out that Cedar Cliff is creating a team, competitive schools such as Cumberland Valley and Red Land would field teams to play against the Cliff.
Another setback to hosting a curling team would be the cost. According to numbers from The Curling Store, it would cost about $300 to get the necessary equipment per player. A curling stone for the team would cost another $200. These costs seem steep, however, compared to other sports like football this is fairly cheap. According to The Oregonian, a new football helmet alone can cost anywhere from $200 to $400. Two football helmets eclipse the cost of a curling stone and two curling players with brand new equipment. Through fundraising and bulk sale to a new organization, the costs can be covered easily.
Curling would give students of all kinds the opportunity to experience the benefits of team sport without restrictive equipment costs and the dangers of contact sports. For Cedar Cliff, to add curling to its sport offerings would be a step in the right direction toward further diversifying what is offered at the high school.