The skill and determination of five Long Bay College boys has seen the group earn a national bronze in the winter sport of Curling. The boys recently competed in the National Secondary School’s Curling Championships in Naseby, Central Otago as the only North Island representative team. They were up against experienced players from schools in the deep south who have grown up surrounded by world class curlers. Despite the cold and the tough competition, the boys took out the bronze medal. It’s the first time in seven years a school north of Cook Strait has ranked so highly. The boys are thankful for the supportive coaching they receive from Benjamin Frew and Garion Long, both Long Bay College alumni and now both New Zealand Curling representatives. It’s just over a year since the friends came to the sport after they were inspired to get involved by College teacher, Mrs Stephanie Curtis. “We really didn’t know a lot about it. Only what we had seen on a Simpson’s episode,” they laugh, adding, “It’s a lot of fun and it’s something different. You can begin playing at any time without having to start at a young age.” The boys placed fourth nationally in 2018 and this year, won all but one game in the North Island Championships ahead of the nationals. The sport, often described as “bowls on ice”, requires plenty of skill and strategy. The team have been impressed with the Curling community’s generosity in sharing tips and techniques, which they have been quick to adopt. In 2020, the boys hope to compete in the national finals. “It’s is all part of Benjamin and Garion’s three year plan,” they say with a smile. They would like to encourage more Auckland secondary schools to take up the sport and grow the competition locally.