What is the Olympic sport that you can play no matter how young (or old) you are? Ask Jeremy Jeanson, sales and marketing manager for Easy Way, a Woodstock, Ontario, Canada-based distributor, and the answer is simple: curling.

“People from all walks of life curl together,” says Jeremy. “Curling eliminates social gaps. Regardless of your age or profession, you are always welcome at the curling club.”

Curling has been around since the 1500s, most likely invented in Scotland. Nicknamed the “roaring game” and “chess on ice,” curling is played on a 150-foot long sheet of ice that is about 15 feet wide. There are two teams of four players each in a game. The curlers slide heavy, granite stones called “rocks” across the ice towards the circular target known as the “house.” After a rock is thrown, two other players influence its path by sweeping the ice. Teams score points by having their stones closest to the center of the house.

Jeremy started curling more than 10 years ago after moving back to Woodstock.

“My parents encouraged me to curl with them in a mixed, social league on Friday nights. It was a good opportunity to hang out with my parents, so I got involved,” says Jeremy. “Eventually, I ended up curling on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and every other Friday.”

Currently, Jeremy plays just twice a week in two different leagues: a men’s league and an open competitive league, in which the team can be made up of any gender combination. Jeremy can play all four positions.

“Typically, curling is thought of as an older person’s sport, but right now, at age 35, I’m the ‘old guy’ on one of my teams,” says Jeremy.

Curlers are known to be fair and honorable competitors and committed to observing the etiquette of the game. Players are expected to call their own fouls, and curlers will concede a match before it has technically come to an end if they feel they do not have a chance of winning.

Jeremy’s favorite thing about curling is the combination of playing a competitive sport that also includes a relaxed social gathering with the competing team after the game.

“One of the traditions of curling is that you shake hands with the other team at the beginning of the game, and when it’s done, both teams gather afterwards, socialize together at the same table, and the winners buy their counterparts on the opposing team a drink, unlike other sports in which the losing team buys the drinks,” says Jeremy.

During the socializing is when curling becomes more than just a game to Jeremy.

“There is a wealth of knowledge around the table, and I learn a lot about business and my community from the people around me in the curling club,” he says.

Gretchen Roufs, an 18-year janitorial supply industry veteran, owns a marketing and public relations company in San Antonio. To suggest someone you think should be featured in “Freetime,” contact her at Gretchen@GretchenRoufs.com.