Thursday, November 04, 2010

Introducing the Smile Page

In recent days I've been corresponding with Turkish curler Celal Cuneyt Isgor. What an enthusiast he is! He's 40 years old, lives in Istanbul and works as a civil engineer.

In 2007, Turkey took on the responsibility of organizing the 2011 Winter University Games in Erzurum. Some of the sports had never been played in Turkey before: short track, figure skating and curling. There were no athletes, no coaches, no venues. How things have changed in three short years!

Celal was the person who went out of his way to learn about curling, watching the sport on TV, learning the rules and attending the World Curling Federation's Umpire, Technical Instructor and Business of Curling courses. A year later he had attended Advanced Curling Coaching and Ice Technician courses.

By now he was working with the Turkish Ice Skating Federation looking towards the Universiade. He was Turkey's first umpire and technical instructor and held curling seminars at six universities in April and May 2009. Turkey's first set of stones and some equipment arrived in May 2009. The sport's new facility in Erzurum was under construction.

Celal takes up the story: "We began to make our plans what to do the after the stones and equipments arrived. Meanwhile a movie producer contacted us telling that she had been producing a comedy movie (Supurrr) with the curling theme. And she asked from us to use our arena (the arena was not a dedicated one then), stones, equipments. And also asked for a coach if we had. I was assigned as the trainer and coach for the actors. I trained and coached actors for seven days. After two or three days, they were playing so well and talking about the strategies that I had became curious if they became really good curlers or they were really good actors to play good curlers."

You can watch the official trailer for the film here, or click on the image below.

Thirty-five teams applied to participate in Turkey's first championship in January 2010.

Recently I reported on the blog here about the Turkish women's success in qualifying for the European Championships in Champery.

Since then the dedicated curling arena in Erzurum has held an international event (see here), Celal being the co-ordinator and competition manager.

Celal is also a cartoonist. I like his work so much that I plan to show some of his cartoons here over the next month or two! Here's the first below, and there's another on the 'Smile Page' (or click on the link in the menu bar above).

You will need to click on the image to see it larger.

"Please doctor, can you give me something for my Addictius Curlingius?"

Images are © Celal Isgor