Safety is everyone's business. Curlers who are prepared will be better able to avoid injury, participate with confidence and maintain their participation long term.
Safety doesn't begin or end, when we enter or leave the ice surface. Pre-game routines with stretching and warm-ups are a great way to reduce strain and injuries. These methods can also be used after a game for cooling down.
With this in mind, it is time to review your own personal safety routine, as well as talk about it with your teammates. In our Learn to Curl (LTC) program, we teach and encourage participants to be mindful of which foot leaves and meets the ice first. We also discuss helmets and risks associated with our beloved sport. You can read more about recommendations from Curling Canada and the Nova Scotia Curling Association on their websites.
Helmets are on their way. Youth under 13 years of age are required to wear a helmet*. We have also seen an adoption of head gear by a good portion of our membership. This is a great move in the right direction for all!
Another aspect to look at is taking care of ice surfaces and floors. Cleaning up debris on the ice surface can bring its own challenges at times, but making sure that tissues, paper and tripping hazards are controlled and announced to those around you will go a long way. An example, one skip reminding the other (while setting up their call in the house) that there was a rock clinging to the back line. This is a great conscious effort put forth!
This is not meant to scare anyone currently curling, or looking to curl. Safety cannot be a second thought.