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7 Apr, 2009 06:09

Curling champs help raise money for disabled kids

Russia's womens' curling team are one of the country's main hopes for gold at the winter games in Vancouver. But this week, the players are focused on something else.

They're putting training aside to help raise money for disabled children.

10 teams took part in the charity event, including the British Embassy team, who had some former professionals in their squad.

"We've discovered that we have on the staff of the embassy in Moscow two people who used to be members of the British Olympic curling team. They arrived in Russia to work at the embassy and wanted to know how to get in contact with Russian sportsmen and women, who did curling here. And they were delighted that they’ve heard about this event,” Laurie Bristow from the British Embassy in Moscow said.

And they couldn't underestimate the importance of this tournament.

“It’s very easy for people who have physically disabled children to think to the bottom of the pile, to sink out of sight of the authorities and the society. And I think that we should all do what we can to support those people,” he added.

Curling in Russia is a relatively young discipline. The national federation of the sport appeared only in 1994.

But with the success of its womens' national team that won three golds at the European Championships, its now developing a wider appeal.

This charity event is evidence of that. Around $15 thousand was raised in a single afternoon – and that will be used to help families care for their disabled children. Organizers are now promising to make it a regular event.