mountain water.jpg


Adaptive Curling Clinic for Local Veterans

Adaptive Curling Clinic for Local Veterans

Veteran Bruce Guertin tries his hand at the ancient sport of curling, assisted by King Francisco, VA SCI RN

Monday, January 30, 2017

Recently, Granite Curling Club of Seattle volunteers hosted seven VA Puget Sound Health Care System Veterans for a first-hand opportunity to experience the Medieval Scottish sport of Curling.

The adaptive curling clinic for patients of both Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation Care Services was held to give interested Veterans an introduction to another healthy sport option.  U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team Assistant Coach, Rusty Schieber, provided both education about the sport & recommendations on various techniques.  Everyone involved, from the VA Rec Therapists, to the Granite Curling Club & Coach Schieber, focused on making a successful first-time experience for the participants.

“Participating in sports of this kind contributes to increased health, physical activity and socialization all of which are the foundation to the overall quality of life that our Veterans have earned,” said VA Puget Sound Recreation Therapist Vance Pease, coordinator of the event.

“Once Rec Therapy solved the individual physical adaptations necessary to grip the curling stick, to maintain balance on the ice, & for posture, then the curling experts worked with them on what they could do to improve their technique and skill level,” said Pease.

Granite Curling Club volunteers worked with participants on the technique and skills to successfully throw/push the 42 pound curling stone approximately 100 feet to make it into the target area, and the “art” of putting a spin, or “curl” on the stone.   The curl gives the participant the ability to circumvent other stones in the direct path and rest the stones behind one another in a better position for scoring.

“This was a great partnership between the Seattle VA & a community organization to put on a successful opportunity for the benefit of our Veterans.  One of the participants was just accepted to participate in the National Disabled Veterans Wheelchair Curling Camp in Denver, CO in April, put on by the United States Olympic Committee.  We wish him the best & look forward to future local opportunities with the Granite Curling Club!”