First African curling facility begins development in Nigeria

Clearing the land for Nigeria's first dedicated curling facility © Nigeria Curling Federation

Since becoming a World Curling Federation Member Association in 2018, the Nigeria Curling Federation have been working to grow the sport and put themselves on the world stage. Now, they’re taking their efforts to the next level by building Africa’s first ever dedicated curling facility.

As a new and growing association with 55 professional and nearly 900 registered curlers, the Nigeria Curling Federation have been using Rock Solid Production’s FloorCurl equipment to teach locals about curling and help grow the game. The Federation has plans to work with the Ministry of Sport to have curling introduced as part of their sport curriculum in all primary, secondary and universities in Nigeria.

On the competitions side of things, the Nigeria Curling Federation saw their colours worn on the World Curling stage for the first time at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019. The duo of Tijani Cole and Susana Cole made history when they beat France, 8-5, winning Africa’s first ever world curling game.

Nigeria celebrate their first World Curling win © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Now, just over one year from that historic win, development has begun for the first Nigerian ice rink in Cross River State Calabar – Nigeria’s tourism capital.

“We want the sport to be played locally in the country and help us save travel costs at all times for ice training. In addition, we want to help introduce the game of curling to other African countries,” said Nigeria Curling Federation’s President, Daniel Damola.

Currently, the project is in its early development stages. The first task of clearing the land and have fencing put around the entire property is now underway.

“The timeline we are looking at is December 2021 if everything goes according to plan and we are able to get all funds we need,” said Damola.

“The plan is to have a two-sided ice facility where we can have other ice sport played on one side while the other side is for our own sport of curling. It will have five dedicated sheets, restaurants, bar, shopping, gym, conference rooms, and training centre all within the facility.”

Despite curling acting as a new sport for many Nigerian’s, Damola says locals are excited about the announcement of the of the new facility.

“We have received countless mails congratulating us for how far we have come. Not minding the fact that the entire planet is going through hard times, yet, we are still moving forward with our goal of building the facility.”

“We look forward to seeing this happen for us, the First African Nation in the world of curling.”

You can follow the work of the Nigeria Federation on Twitter.

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18 June 2020