Tammy Scott-Zelt, Curling Fanatic!

My life is filled with love and laughter thanks to the amazing people I get to hang out with. As well as being awesome moms, they’re creative, talented, generous, and fun! I thought you might like to meet them so I’ve asked them to come and give us a behind-the-scenes look at what they’re passionate about. I have to warn you though – creativity is contagious! 

curling rocksMy guest today is Tammy Scott-Zelt, an excellent role model for sport and fitness! In the summer she’s busy playing and coaching soccer, and in the winter she’s involved in curling. Since the Canadian men and women won gold medals for curling at the last Olympics, I thought it’d be cool to learn what it’s all about from an expert.



Tammy, can you explain how curling works? T: Curling is a sport that dates back to Medieval Scotland in 1541. Players slide 40 lb. granite rocks down a sheet of ice toward a target area. The ice is 150 feet in length and has a pebble texture to it. The target area, or house, is segmented into four concentric circles. Curling has been compared to shuffle board or chess on ice. There is a lot of strategy to curling and where to place the rocks in the house.

Two teams compete against each other alternating throwing the rocks. Each person on a team is assigned a position. The Skip is the person who stands down in the house (target area) holding a broom and determining the strategy for the team. The Skip is usually the player with the most curling experience and throws the last two rocks for her team. The Vice is the next experienced player who throws the third set of rocks for the team. The Vice also consults with the Skip and holds the broom for the Skip while she throws her two rocks. The Second position is the player who throws the second set of rocks for the team. The Lead position is the first person on the team who does the coin toss to determine which team throws the rock first and throws the first set of rocks. The Lead is usually the player who is new to the game and is learning to draw weight.

The team will sweep the rock if it’s light on weight or curling too much. The Skip is responsible for calling out “sweep” if the rock looks like it’s curling too much, and the sweepers will determine the weight of the rock. The purpose of sweeping the rock is to melt the pebbles on the ice, which creates a smooth path for the rock to curl straighter and farther.

Recreational curlers play eight ends, which usually takes two hours. The team with the rock closest to the “button” or the smallest circle in the house wins the end. The team with the most points after eight ends wins the game. The winning team buys drinks for the losing team.

I didn’t realize that the ice surface was different from an ice rink. How did you become interested in curling? T: I became interested in curling at a very young age because my family are big curlers.

What do you love about it? T: Curling is one of the very few sports that you can play from “cradle to grave”. A lot of people will say that curling is boring and not a sport that burns calories but that’s not so. If you play eight ends and sweep every rock, you walk approximately 4500 steps on pedometer and gain strength in your upper arms as you sweep the rocks. Curling is also an incredible social sport. You play on a team and chat while playing for two hours then enjoy a social drink after the game with the other team. It’s a great sport for people who have moved into a new city and are looking to meet new friends. Curling is also a great sport to play with your spouse/partner because they have a mixed league at most clubs.

Sounds like it’s a great family sport too! Do you need special equipment? T: Curling can be a very economical sport to play because the only equipment needed is a curling broom and slider for your shoes. As you progress, most curlers purchase curling shoes that have a built-in slider, but it’s not necessary. Most clubs have brooms and sliders for new curlers to use.

That’s good to know. You could try it out first. Favourite moment? T: My favourite moment was sparing for a competitive team this year. We were playing in the Regional Championship and we beat the Queen’s Varsity Curling team by one point in the last end to win the championship.

Congrats! That sounds like it was an exciting finish! Do you have advice for someone new to curling? T: Look at joining the Learn to Curl Program, which usually runs for eight weeks. The instructors are usually very passionate about the sport and knowledgeable. Be patient as you learn any sport. Curling looks easy but requires a lot of balance if you are using a stabilizer or broom coming out of the hack. A lot of older curlers are using sticks to deliver their stones, which does not require them to be flexible getting down in the hack.

I think that’s good advice for a lot of sports – try to take a lesson to learn proper technique and be patient. If you had to pick a song to be your theme song what would it be? T: Girls just want to have fun.

That’s a good one because it’s always fun hanging out with you! What would you pick as a superpower? T: My ultimate superpower would be “time” because I could do all the things I want to do before I die and change the path of history if necessary.

Cool. What’s your favourite dessert? T: Chocolate brownies that are warm out of the oven.

Yum! And yours would likely be homemade. 😀 (Tammy is also a phenomenal cook!) Tammy thank you very much for sharing your curling knowledge!! It’ll be more fun watching the Canadian teams and it sounds like a great sport to try! Keep active everyone!