A NEW move to get more people to take up the sport of curling has been launched.
The Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC), the national governing body for the sport in Scotland, has unveiled a 2014 Try Curling initiative which aims to attract new people to the sport during the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
They say 2,000 people tried curling for the first time in Scotland during the last Olympic year in 2010, but with BBC Sport set to deliver its most comprehensive coverage of a Winter Games to date, it is hoped that even more people will be motivated to try curling for the first time.
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To support the initiative, a new website www.trycurling.com, has been launched to make it easy for people to get involved with hundreds of taster sessions and beginner classes searchable online, with many free of charge to attend.
Users can also learn about the basics of the game, locate ice rinks and curling clubs near them, and find regional and national curling events to watch Scotland's top curlers in action.
A squad of 56 athletes, including 18 from Scotland, are in the British team for the winter Games, which start in Sochi, Russia, next month.
Curlers make up the majority of Scottish competitors, with representation also in skiing, snowboarding, speed skating and bobsleigh events.
All those attending a Try Curling session between February 15 and March 9 will be in with the chance of winning a place at the RCCC's Try Curling Champions event in April where they will be able to meet Team GB's curling Olympians.
Olympic Gold Medal winner Rhona Howie (Martin) who is supporting the initiative said: "I'm proud to be involved in the Try Curling Initiative especially with the Winter Olympic season upon us. It's important that we attract new people to the sport to make sure we have future curlers to follow in the footsteps of our men's and women's teams."
Over 20 ice rinks across Scotland will be hosting Try Curling sessions and The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is also working with British Curling to promote similar initiatives. The women's curling team of Eve Muirhead, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton, Anna Sloan and Lauren Gray were the first athletes to be named on the British team last year.