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Crazy for curling

LACOLLE - Though the Winter Olympics will soon be drawing to a close, there's one sport that keeps people coming back for more.

Melanie Defayette, director of the Town of Plattsburgh Recreation Department, has found Scotland's native sport of curling has gained more and more attention since becoming part of the Winter Olympics. So much, in fact, people of the North Country have been traveling across the border to the Lacolle Curling Club in Quebec to play on the area's only regulation curling arena.

Defayette said she knew about the sport, but first learned of the recent rise in interest in curling from Connie Harrica of Morrisonville. Harrica, herself, was introduced by a friend to the sport, which involves "sweeping" polished granite stones down a sheet of ice toward a circular target called a "house." The sport, which she and Defayette both likened to shuffleboard, was one that immediately piqued Harrica's interest.

"I watched it one day and decided I wanted to get involved," said Harrica.

Though Harrica immediately took a liking to curling and wanted to tell others like Defayette, she wasn't the only one. Jan Letourneau of Rouses Point reached Defayette at almost the same time to tell her how much fun curling can be.

"Connie was in my office talking about curling and, out of the blue, Jan calls about curling. That was a little strange," laughed Defayette. "Since we've expanded our programs at the town to involve a lot of activities, especially for seniors, I thought this is something worth looking into. It goes with what we're trying to do."

So, Defayette took a trip north to Lacolle and learned more about the sport from Lacolle Curling Club coach Perry Anderson.

The greatest thing about the sport, said Anderson, though while somewhat physically demanding depending on the position you play, is that almost anyone can do it.

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