I have one wish for the curling community at large for 2013 and hopefully beyond. My wish is simple. One word says it all: Acceptance.
We all want a place in this world. We all DESERVE a place in this world.
The sport of curling is one many don’t begin until adulthood. Unfortunately adults are not exactly renowned for acceptance.
This New Year I want curlers worldwide to remember what it was like to be a beginner, at anything, and treat those just starting out in our beloved sport with kindness, patience, and acceptance. We, as a community of curlers, have been crying out for more beginners to help sustain the future of the Roaring Game, but now that we are starting to see the influx of popularity we have to be careful.
We must treat each new curler like a new friend. We want them to come back and play with us again, right? Think about what made you feel welcome as a beginner. Was it a word of encouragement from a stranger, perhaps a patient and non-condescending explanation of a rule or piece of etiquette? Whatever made you feel like you belonged, fit in, were accepted, is what I wish all new curlers could receive in the New Year.
Is this too tall an order? I don’t think so at all. I have faith in my fellow curlers. I think if we look within and treat each other as we’d wish to be treated on the ice, we can all make the sport a little more enjoyable for each other.
Next time you hit the ice, please try to keep an open mind. Remember we want and need beginners to keep our sport alive.
And, should you happen to be reading this as a beginner, I would like to take the time to sincerely thank you for taking a risk, for giving curling a try. Please know that often times it is the enthusiasm and excitement beginners bring to the game that is exactly what keeps us “veterans” coming back for more! We’re glad you’ve joined our little community and we hope you’ll stick around for a long time.