A new Guinness Book of Word Record could be just a few stone throws away for Rob Swan of Harvey Station, NB. — the New Brunswick curler is trying to set a new world record by playing 12 games in 11 days in 10 different countries.
“As far as I’ve been told it has never been done before. An application has been put in to have it recognized as we new world record,” Swan said.
Swan is trying to raise awareness about the sport in the hopes that curling will sweep the nation like it did decades ago. He started curling across the nation as a way to raise badly need funds for his hometown rink.
“We are the ‘other’ ice sport and that’s fine, but you will have participants who will start out at four or five years old and will curl for a lifetime — you won’t find that in any other sport.”
On October 20, Swan will fly to Europe and throw stones in 10 countries in less than two weeks before ending his journey in the US and Canada.
He says he’s doing it for the love of the game he’s been playing for more than 30 years.
“The people that I meet when I am out on the road, the enthusiasm at the club level in this sport — unbelievable,” Swan said.
He says curling has gained a lot of attention since becoming an Olympic sport. But he says some small community rinks across Canada, especially the 31 rinks in New Brunswick, are still struggling to make ends meet and many have even been forced to close.
“I have been in curling clubs in this province where you go into the washroom and there is a sign that says ‘Do not use, we are working in it.’ There is a major problem with lack of support for the structures and this sport, if I can go into a curling facility and see that.”
He’d like to see more provincial and federal funds invested in re-growing the sport at the community rink level across Canada.
Ellery Robichaud is with Curl Moncton, which is planning to expand its only rink left in the city if and when their municipal and provincial funding is approved.
“In the past years we have been focusing on the Olympics and we forgot about people doing the sport for enjoyment, therefore we have been struggling as far as recruiting new people,” said Robichaud.
Swan says that makes the possibility of sweeping up a new world record worth a shot.
“If I can persuade one person to get into the sport or one person to come back to the sport — kudos!” he said.
Check out Rob Swan’s record-breaking schedule:
October 20 – Baden Baden, Germany
October 21 – Fussen, Germany
October 22 – Cembra, Italy
October 23 – Kitzbuhel, Austria
October 24 – Vaduz, Liechtenstein
October 24 – St Gallen, Switzerland
October 25 – Bern, Switzerland
October 26 – Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
October 27 – Tilburg, Netherlands
October 28 – Zoetemeer, Netherlands
October 29 – Ghent, Belgium
October 30 – Halifax, Canada
October 31 – Fort Wayne, U.S.