September 19, 2020
-Curling Federation eyes 2022 Winter OlympicsThe Guyana Curling Federation (GCF) on Tuesday hosted its first public event, held at the Giftland Mall, in an attempt to properly introduce Guyanese to the new sport.Curling is a team sport played by two teams of four players on a rectangular sheet of ice. Its nickname, “The Roaring Game”, originates from the rumbling sound the 44-pound (19.96kg) granite stones make when they travel across the ice.One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling originated in the 16th century in Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen ponds and lochs. The earliest-known curling stones came from the Scottish regions of Stirling and Perth and date from 1511. Rayad Husain, General Secretary of the recently launched Federation, as well as Abbie Darnley, were on hand to give a graphic demonstration and explained that they were overwhelmed by the support from the public.Darnley is an instructor from Rock Solid Productions Inc.; a Canadian company that’s partnering with the Guyana Curling Federation in helping to introduce the sport locally. The goal of the GCF is to raise awareness to the Guyanese people about the sport of curling through the use of Street Curling. Street Curling is an iceless rink produced by Rock Solid Productions Inc.Rayad Husain“I saw the need for potentially growing a sport and bring something to Guyana that’s predominantly European to South America and to my parents’ home land,” said Husain who is Canadian by birth.He explained that along with his sister Farzana (Husain), they see bringing a new sport, that’s already played at the Olympics, to Guyana as their way of giving back. Husain explained that “this is a first step, because obviously we have no ice rink in Guyana, but is to show the basics of the sport and what it’s about, using a none-ice solution, so this is a great first step in introducing Guyanese to the sport.”Founded in 2016, the GCF has been established to not only govern and promote the Winter Olympic Sport of Curling to Guyanese both within Guyana and abroad, but to also raise the profile of Winter Sport within the Caribbean region by working with other similar bodies and organizations.At the moment, there’s no home for the sport in Guyana, but Husain isn’t too bothered, telling Chronicle Sport that “building an ice rink is a huge endeavor and I’m not sure that it’s what the country needs.”He added, “Guyana needs a lot of things right now and I don’t think building an ice rink would be part of the solution. Our dream as a federation is to spread the sport and to bring, hopefully an ice rink to Guyana. But right now, the country needs other way more important things.”The Federation was established to also provide athletes both in and out of Guyana opportunities to represent the country in international competitions as governed by the World Curling Federation. Currently, the GCF boasts two competitive athletes, (Rayad and Farzana Hussain), who are both based in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and have been participating in the sport for many years in Canada with great success.The Federation recently received Conditional Membership status from the World Curling Federation (56th Member Association) at its World Curling Congress in Stockholm, Sweden in September 2016, which will allow them to access development programmes to promote the sport to the Guyanese people.Following a one-year period, the next step will be to apply for Provisional Membership status, which would allow our athletes to compete in international events, with the first being the 2018 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which will take place at the end of April 2018 at a site to be announced by the World Curling Federation.Through time, the goal of the Federation is to send a curling team to the Olympic Winter Games perhaps as soon as the 2022 Olympics in Beijing in Mixed Doubles, as well as to produce medals in the World Championships. Men’s curling was included in the Olympic programme in 1924 at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. It was then dropped, and later re-introduced as a demonstration sport in 1932 in Lake Placid. In 1998, Curling officially joined the Olympic programme, with both men’s and women’s competitions.