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Curling In England - Alive & Well In kent!

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Curling in England is alive and well, as October 1st saw the start of the 2008/9 season at Fenton's Rink near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

This is the only place to play curling in England, and the small but growing community of curlers was only too keen to throw some stones down the ice again!

I say small but growing, because the band of English curlers has developed from the nomadic tribe that had to go abroad to find somewhere to curl (or take their chance on the odd skating rink!) to an ever increasing number of local curlers who have come across the game.

The rink has been busy since it opened in 2004 in putting on schools tournaments and junior competition in a drive to develop the game in England.

It's got a way to go to catch up with the Scottish game - with over 20 curling rinks and a 500 year history going back to the invention of the game, it's no surprise that the GB Womens team that won gold at the Winter Olympics in 2002 was made up of Scots.

It'll be a long time before an English player gets into the Olympic squad, but they say even the tallest oak came from an acorn, and thanks to Fenton's rink the game is taking root south of the border!

Something else which is different from the Scottish rinks, is that in Kent there are a lot of corporate bookings, birthday parties, and hen/stag events.

This because curling in England is still a novelty at the moment - but to those that have caught the bug, English curling is a serious business!

Gordon Bryan is a keen English curler. You can check out the only curling rink in England at: http://www.fentonsrink.co.uk

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Gordon Bryan
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