Wheelchair Curling is a playful combination of concentration, precision, strategy, team-work and sociability.
Unlike "normal" Curling, the stone is delivered from a firm place close to the first hogline. The player has two options for the delivery: He can play the stone directly with his/her hand or he/she may do so with the assistance of an extender. The extender is used like a prolongation of the arm and facilitates the straightforward movement of the stone in direction to its target.
A full Curling game can last up to three hours. Therefore, persistent concentration is required from each player. Successful Curlers are in a position to keep concentrated without interruption and so they will never lose the thread during the game. Small tactical, technical or careless mistakes can have a dramatic effect on the result of the game.
Unlike with "normal" Curling, there is no sweeping with wheelchair Curling. This means that after the delivery, the path of the stone cannot be corrected or influenced anymore. Hence, wheelchair Curlers even need more sensitiveness in order to precisely deliver the stone to its desired target.
As with traditional Curling, strategic decisions are of utmost importance. The goal is to be one step ahead of your opponent.
Only a team that acts in concert can successfully overcome the ups and downs of a tournament. The characteristic of this team-sport is, that only mixed teams (mixed gender) may play.
Especially with wheelchair Curling, which is not too much developed yet in the various countries, the support and assistance among the various nations is required and already existing. Even after a very short period of time one can make valuable, international acquaintances and friends. No matter if Curling is your hobby or a high performance sport for you: there is always a strong emphasis on sociability.
Wheelchair Curling is paralympic
Since the Olympic Winter Games 2006 at Turin, Curling is part of the Paralympic programme. Following that, the young sport of wheelchair Curling received a boost. In 2006, already 17 nations participated in the World Wheelchair Championship Qualifications. Further countries will follow.
Almost anybody can play
Anybody, who uses a wheelchair during his daily life is eligible for play. Wheelchair Curling does not require a lot of physical skills. One just needs some strength and sensitiveness in the arm. Striking is the fact that a lot of tetraplegic people, (who usually do not have any chance at all with other sports), are really good wheelchair curlers.
Ice: the special element
The ice can be accessed by a standard wheelchair without any problem. It is however important that the wheels be clean and that the brakes are working. Warm clothing is essential, too! If you have all that in mind, the fun on the ice can start!
Wheelchair Curling in Austria
If you are interested, please contact our High Performance Center at Kitzbühel!