Not that I’ve written about it here, but since last October, I’ve spent the bulk of my Friday and Sunday nights out at the Broomstones Curling Club. This past weekend, I took my new found hobby a step further and competed in the Elisabeth Childs Women’s Challenge in Norfolk, CT, a bonspiel for women with 5 or less years of curling experience (that’s me!).
Smiling is not something I do while throwing a stone
I wasn’t originally going to compete, but a team dropped out at the last minute and I got a call from Tami Gouvais, a member of Broomstones that I knew peripherally but had never curled with. She was attempting to put together a team at the last minute and someone had recommended that she call me. She had been in touch with a woman in Wilkes-Barre, PA and knew of someone else in Philadelphia who were looking for a team. And thus, our rag tag bunch that had never met before was formed.
We wound up doing better than expected — and better than two of the three Broomstones teams that had formed well in advance. (The third team won the whole thing.) We went 2-2 and reached our goal of curling on Sunday by beating a team from Schenectady on Thursday, losing to a team from Utica on Friday, beating a team from Broomstones on Saturday, and losing to another team from Broomstones on Sunday. The Saturday game that kept us alive was by far my shining moment. With the score tied up in the 8th end, I threw a rock that just touched the button and was well protected by guards up front.
The blue stone was mine!
After I threw the shot, my teammates commented that it got a lot of cheers. I looked up and realized that the entire Norfolk CC warm room and bar was watching our game. I’m glad I didn’t know that before I threw my stones — the pressure was on! But after a few more harrowing shots from the vices and skips, we held on to win and my rock remained shot.
Our prize? We had to buy a round of drinks and get up for a 7:30 AM game the next day. As for that game… well, let’s pretend the tournament ended on Saturday.
(More pictures, including the costume contest and the A event finals, aka the championship game, that was won by a Broomstones team here.)


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