At the start of a new year folks of all ages have been keeping active in an unusual way at a church in the village of Lofthouse.
The Indoor Curling Cafe, run at Christ Church Lofthouse, launched last October and has quickly gained a regular following of enthusiastic 'curlers' who enjoy fortnightly matches, with the winning team taking home the winners' trophy.
The sport of indoor curling, made famous on the ice by the Winter Olympics, provides an opportunity "for everyone, young and not-so-young, able-bodied and not-so-able-bodied to take part and compete against each other on an even footing," said the Revd Mandy Rhodes, team vicar of the benefice of Rothwell, Lofthouse, Methley with Mickletown and Oulton with Woodlesford.
"I came across this innovative way to encourage fellowship and keeping people active at the same time when visiting a church in the Calderdale Methodist Circuit a couple of years ago. From that moment on, the seed was sown in my mind and on returning home, I bought an Indoor Curling kit, with the intention of working on a plan to introduce the sport to Lofthouse."
Mandy further explained, "The ‘stones’ run on ball-bearings and are propelled towards the target, either by hand or with the aid of a long-handled pusher, which means that the game can be played from a standing or sitting position. Our youngest player has been 6 years old; the oldest, so far, over 90! People are so hooked by this game that they’re now talking about the possibility of challenging other churches to compete against them. Who knows, we may be the pioneers of an inter-church Indoor Curling Championship!"