Not sure what curling is? Start here to put things in context.
What is Curltech?
Curltech, run by father-daughter team Grayland and Elizabeth Cousins, is a small company dedicated to training the next generation of competitive curlers. Founded in 1990, the company started its program answering the question, how do I throw a rock the same way each time?
“Steve Reid, a fairly new curler at the time, was interested in becoming an Olympian in the sport of curling. He asked our group to send him the exact, step-by-step documentation of how to properly throw and sweep a curling rock. Of course, this did not exist,” according to the Curltech website.
With an idea and motive, G. Cousins set to work on making a precise, uniform throw.
Eventually he created the three step delivery which is a skill they still teach to their students today.
Since Curltech’s creation, G. Cousins has trained hundreds of “program kids”– a term they use for curlers who have developed utilizing curltech practices. These curlers can be found in competitive levels all over the country. They include champions like Korey Dropkin and his own daughter E. Cousins. She currently plays lead for team Sinclair, an American national team in addition to training other Curltech students.
The Curltech program is a three day event starting Friday evening and running through Sunday afternoon. During the weekend, Curltech instructors mix classroom discussions and games as well as on ice practice times in between to solidify the discussed skills.
In their lessons, the father daughter duo teach junior curlers how to perfect critical curling skills including sweeping, throwing and higher level strategy used by skips.
Ben Taylor is a freshman at Leesville Road High School and junior curlers. He started curling in 2018 after the U.S. men’s team won gold in the Winter Olympics. The Curltech camp at Triangle Curling Club was Taylor’s first time on the ice since the pandemic shut nonessential businesses down in March of 2020
“I wanted to get better at curling, but also I was just excited to get back onto the ice after a year and a half,” said Taylor.
In addition to building up student’s curling skills, the program encouraged juniors to think about their future and the goals they want to achieve. Curltech helped Taylor realize his goals of playing at a competitive level.
“Short term, I am hoping to join a league this year and maybe start a little into competitions, long term I want to go to junior nationals,” said Taylor.
The Curltech event emphasized junior’s ability to make it to a world class level. It discussed long term plans including national level bonspiels like U18 and U21 where he would compete against the best junior curlers in the country.
“These are skills that I am going to bring to junior nationals. Hopefully these are skills that I will have for the rest of my life and my curling career,” said Taylor.
Glossary of Curling Terms
Stone- a 40 pound rock with a handle used to curl with
Throw- to send a stone across the sheet of ice
Skip- a position in curling, they throw last and spend most of their time directing their team’s strategy
Lead- also called first, they are the first person to throw on a curling team
U18 and U21- competitive bonspiels for curlers 18 and under and 21 and under respectively
Sweeping- moving a broom back and forth across the ice to change the speed and direction or the stone
Delivery- a set of procedures to have a consistent throw
Bonspiel- a curling game or tournament
Hi! My name is Lauren! I’m President of the LRHS book club. Outside of school I’m a curler for Team Taylor and I like to rollerblade.