More than three hundred people experienced Slovenia's first ever 'Come and Try' curling session in Ljubljana last Saturday.
The World Curling Federation's Development Officer Eeva Rothlisberger was behind the initiative.
Recognise anyone in the photo above? Yes, that's Judith McFarlane, the Royal Club's Development Manager, in full instruction mode.
Judith says, "I was just overwhelmed by the level of enthusiasm, preparation and hospitality shown by everyone involved.
Volunteers were painting circles in preparation for ice-man Mike Reid arriving. Mike did a great job in producing high quality ice and was working with a Slovenian named Denis to pass on knowledge which he can hopefully use to their benefit. Fifteen billboards all across the city were advertising the event as well as promotion on radio. The organising group had obtained a lot of sponsors who all had their banners on display at the rink and the opportunity to set up marketing stalls.
A large screen was brought in to show curling footage and relay the Try Curling sessions for those sitting in the stands watching. Three curling clubs set up stalls, all with their own club logos, information and club jumpers/jackets already! They were recruiting for new members; quite amazing considering the members themselves had all only been on-ice once before!
During the Try Curling event, there was a ‘VIP’ tournament with actors, musicians and dancers taking part on the centre two sheets. On the outside sheets, there were opportunities for members of the public to try curling and it was busy all day!! Between 300 and 400 people came along and at 7pm (2 hours after it was due to end), the organisers had to kindly tell people that it was time to leave the ice in order to get everything cleared up. Throughout the day, there was a BBQ and drinks tent outside, comedian, belly-dancer and live band.
It was a fantastic event to be involved in and I am certain curling in Slovenia will go from strength to strength having seen the Try Curling day."
Thanks Judith, and 'well done'! More photos:
I haven't had the chance to ask Judith if belly-dancers are going to be a feature of the next RCCC Come and Try days!
Billboard publicity for Try Curling.
And great to see colour on the ice!
That's Eeva on the left, beside Judith. And there are some other well kent VIP faces amongst the organisers.
Photos courtesy of the Slovenian Curling Association.