Theresa Ring, Market Manager for the VisitScotland business events team, discusses lessons that delegates and groups can learn from playing sport – all skills applicable in the workplace.

The 2018 Winter Olympics is in full swing, and Great Britain’s women curlers are preparing for their semi-final clash against Sweden in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The current buzz around curling is a great inspiration when planning unique and rewarding team building activities for groups.

Why not try one of the world’s oldest sports and one of the many authentic and memorable experiences Scotland has to offer, and give your team the opportunity to learn the game and acquire valuable skills applicable in the workplace?

Combining strategy, skill and team work, curling is played by two teams of four on ice. Its nickname, ‘The Roaring Game’, originates from the rumbling sound the 44-pound granite stones make when they travel across the ice.There are very few types of rock in existence that can withstand the stress of gliding along melting ice and hitting into another rock. Ailsa Craig island, 10 miles west of mainland Scotland, is the world’s only source for the rare granite that is used to make Olympic curling stones.

The sport, which originated in 16th century Scotland, requires input and encouragement from all players for the team to succeed. On the curling rink, just as in the boardroom, the key is to have strong team members that support each other in making responsible and beneficial decisions.

Work those ‘mind’ muscles
Curling was traditionally played in the winter months on the frozen lochs of Scotland and has featured in every Winter Olympics since 1998. The game starts with a member from one team ‘delivering the rock’ across the ice toward the ‘button’ – a circle at the other end of the ice 150 feet away, while skating forward in a low squatting position. Just as important as physical strength, mental dexterity is key in the game. Curling has been compared to chess, as teammates must anticipate their opponents’ next several moves.

A sense of accomplishment

Sport plays a central role in Scottish culture, with sports like association football, rugby union, golf and the Highlands games having generated millions of proud supporters and aspiring players around the world. When organising the perfect event for delegates, you should tap into this pool of passion and competitiveness, especially now during the Winter Olympics, with Scotland’s own Eve Muirhead leading the women’s team. What a better way to do so than getting people involved in a game of curling in the country where the game originated?

Maximillion, the corporate team building and event management agency and its ‘Turnberry Adventures’ site offers a wide range of team building activities and corporate packages for both indoors and outdoors, including carpet curling, while Turnberry Resort offers amazing views over Ailsa Craig island. Groups who want to experience the real deal, can play curling on ice, offered by Murrayfield Curling and its team of coaches.

Scotland is easily accessible from the north of England and the Midlands by a quick train or plane journey from Leeds, a train from York or a one-hour flight from Manchester.

Well organised activities keep teams talking about their experiences for months or even years. Being able to break away from the norm and a change in environment will motivate and inspire staff, as well as make them feel rewarded and leave the event with a great sense of pride, motivation and accomplishment.

For more information, visit VisitScotland.com.