Wounded Warriors take to the ice with curling brooms

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 9:41 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Staying active throughout the winter may be more difficult than in summer, but it’s still vital to stay physically and mentally healthy all year long.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Fairbanks Curling Club partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to host an afternoon of fun and exercise.

“We are utilizing the sport of curling to increase the awareness for warriors to get movement within their lives,” Ryan Taniguchi, a physical health and wellness coach with Wounded Warrior, explained.

The Wounded Warrior project is a non-profit that focuses on veterans and their families through a variety of programs. This week, they joined long-term curlers on the ice to learn their techniques.

“A lot of them have faced adversity, faced challenges, whether that’s mental or physical, and they’re being challenged to sustain their lifestyle with physical activity, wellness activities and just movement in general,” Taniguchi said, and continued, “and what a great opportunity to work with the Fairbanks Curling Club and have them open up their doors and have their members work hand in hand with some of our warriors and family members today to bring awareness to that.”

Kip Harmon, now the Club Manager of the Fairbanks Curling Club, first met the Wounded Warriors 10 years ago the last time they came to an event at the club, when Harmon was a volunteer.

“I saw the tremendous need, I saw the appreciation of the veterans for getting out on the ice and teaching them something new and getting them moving,” Harmon remembered, “and it was one of those no-brainers that absolutely we’d love to host them again this year.”

The event’s goal was not only to encourage physical wellness through exercise, but to connect veterans with community and fellowship.