New research explores how curling is the rock of rural communities

Feb 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Social support is crucial to the health of rural women in Canada. As rural communities shrink and their sport facilities deteriorate, rural women - already struggling for equal status in many areas of social life - are seeing their opportunities for group activity and social interaction disappear.

By examining the social lives and health of female curlers, new research from The University of Western Ontario is looking to understand how sport and recreation activities differ for women in diverse across Canada and to determine how health, sport, and recreation can be better understood within the broader contexts of gender and community change in rural areas.

“In small rural areas that are particularly isolated, curling is a major event of the week, not only as a winter sport, but as place to meet socially,” says lead researcher Beverly D. Leipert, a professor of Nursing who for six years held the Ontario Women’s Health Council Chair in Rural Women’s Health Research at The University of Western Ontario. “People will gather at the curling rink even if they don’t curl. They come to have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie and to visit and watch a game. It’s a gathering place.”

In this study - the first to explore the effects of curling activities on the social lives and health of rural women in Canada - more than 50 mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, sisters, and friends from Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, and Ontario are taking photographs, recording in log books, and participating in focus groups to explore the influence of curling on their social lives and health.

“In some communities in Canada, even if they’ve lost their grocery store or their grain elevators on the prairies, the curling rink survives. It’s often the last thing to go and I think it’s because of the to the community,” says Leipert.

Explore further: In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?

Provided by University of Western Ontario

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In rural areas, more women falling into health care gap

Dec 15, 2009

For Americans living in rural areas, obtaining and maintaining health care can be challenging. Aside from common barriers, including shortages of care providers and facilities, older women face additional challenges, according ...

The importance of attractiveness depends on where you live

Dec 15, 2009

Do good-looking people really benefit from their looks, and in what ways? A team of researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Kansas found that yes; attractive people do tend to have more social relationships ...

Cutting through the stigma

Apr 18, 2008

Training community members such as barbers as peer educators can be an effective way of spreading information on HIV/AIDS throughout low-literacy, rural communities, say findings published this week in the open access journal ...

Recommended for you

Feeling bad at work can be a good thing

Aug 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Research by the University of Liverpool suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
not rated yet Feb 09, 2010
it is good these rural communities are disappearing - they are hot beds of racist and small minded clowns who get most of their income from servicing the receipients of rural welfare - the farmers - who continue to harvest 65% of their income from their post office boxes. What these people need is motivation to work - leisure time should be earned.