Curling club offers sport for everyone
The Grand Forks Curling Club has been a staple in the community since 1960, and despite that, more and more people continue visiting the club to learn more about the sport.
"We have people asking all the time how they play," said Dan Lindgren, a volunteer and member of the Grand Forks Curling Club's board.
Curling is a sport in which two teams of four players each slide rocks down a sheet of ice toward a target at the other end. Each team tries to get more of its stones to the center of the target than the other team. Curling is similar to a game of shuffleboard on ice.
Lindgren said the sport's popularity has really picked up since curling became an official Olympic sport in the 1998 Winter Olympics. More people have seen it because of that, Lindgren said, which makes more people want to try it, especially in a year when the Winter Olympics occur.
"You used to talk about curling and find many people who hadn't even ever heard of it," he said. "Since the Olympics came around, everybody's heard of it, and people are familiar with the generalities of it."
Lindgren said in general, the sport is easy to pick up but difficult to master. At the beginning of each curling season in November, the Curling Club hosts a "learning to curl" event, which typically is attended by about 50 people, Lindgren said. The organization still has spots available in its youth classes. Those interested can visit www.gfcurling.org for more details.
"People can show up and curl and get a rock down the ice, but getting it to where you want it to be is something—for most people who try it—(that) is harder than they thought," he said.
In those learning sessions, those interested in learning about the sport come in and get the basics of the game. Experienced curlers will walk people through and demonstrate the movements.
Key to success
But with anything, Lindgren said practice — and doing things properly — are key to success.
"People come in and play, and if they didn't get a sample on how to do it, then you might find in five years, you're doing it the same way you do 20 minutes after you started," he said. "Then, you get frustrated with how it's going, and maybe not doing as well as you'd like."
The Grand Forks Curling Club offers league play Monday through Thursday, and the group always is looking for new people to get involved, Lindgren said.
"It's great fun, and it's a great way to meet people in the community," he said.