Twenty-five-year old Jonny Harper from Belfast could be the first of a new breed of Irish curlers after taking the ferry over on Monday to try curling at Stranraer Ice Rink.
Inspired by the recent Olympics, youth-worker Jonny had a day off and decided to give curling a go after seeing the free ‘Try Curling’ sessions at Stranraer advertised on the ICA website.
A natural sportsman (he plays hockey) Jonny arrived off the morning ferry and got a bus from the terminal into the town . After arriving at the rink, he picked the basics up quickly after some coaching from ice rink manager Gail Munro and qualified coach Trevor Harrison. As the ice wasn’t busy, Jonny had the rink to himself to hone his newly acquired skills. Later he was joined by ICA President PJ Wilson and Louise Kerr who spent some time with him on the ice, helping with delivery tips and sweeping advice and filling him in on some ICA history.
But as you can see from the attached video clip, Jonny picked things up really quickly, developing an impressive slide in just a couple of hours.
Before heading home on the afternoon boat, PJ invited Jonny to the closing bonspiel at Hamilton and Jonny promised to bring the rest of the hockey team with him next time!
After ten minutes on the ice Jonny’s 4th and 5th stones were delivered to the 4 foot. Incredible that he took to it so quickly. The current Irish team are going to have to look to their laurels……
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Amazing how this fellow has a near perfect delivery with such little practise. He’s a natural curler! Goes to show the athletic ability of the Irish.
I also should have added that Jonny had some great instruction from two of the best, PJ and Louise. I’m still looking forward to coming over to take part in a ICA Bonspiel some day.