Curling: Not Just In Canada
Of all the sports you’ll see during the Winter Olympics, one in particular is more accessible than you might expect: curling. Not just a sport for Canadians, curling is something you can do right here in Cedar Rapids with the Cedar Rapids Curling Club (CRCC).
Founded in 2012, CRCC started Eastern Iowa’s first curling league and has since grown to include nearly 40 members. The non-profit organization is a member of the United States Curling Association, Illinois Curling Association and the United States Women’s Curling Association and their mission is to bring curling and sportsmanship into the lives of all people, regardless of age, physical ability or skill level. In fact, CRCC member Phil Burian says despite being an Olympic sport, "you don’t have to be an athlete to curl."
A Level Playing Field
With curling, everyone is on the same playing field regardless of physical fitness or ability, he explained. The club has had members as young as six-years old to those in their 80s. Curling is a sport you can easily adapt, making it accessible for anyone to enjoy, even if they’re new to the sport or have physical limitations, he said.
For most people, it takes less than an hour to get the hang of the game's basic rules. After a quick lesson, most people can get into a competitive game. From there it can get addictive, Burian said. The more you play, the more you’ll want to get better, he explained. It’s a game of strategy and while there are many ways to improve, it takes lots of time and practice to become an expert.
Curl Up To Camaraderie
Not only is curling an inclusive sport, it’s also a great opportunity for socializing. Many members said the club has resulted in new and lasting friendships. And with sportsmanship written right into the rules, it’s easy to make friends quickly.
Camaraderie is expected throughout every bonspiel (curling tournament), starting with a handshake before each game. Players encourage each other throughout, and once the game is over, opposing teams congratulate each other and sometimes even meet up outside the curling tournament for drinks.
Learn To Curl
For those interested in trying curling, you can join one of the club’s Learn to Curl Sessions during league play or curling night events for just $10. Learn to Curls offer hands-on instruction on sweeping and stone delivery, as well as a chance to test your new skills in game scenarios or mini-games. The curling club also hosts group events such as employee team building, birthdays, private parties and more.
Ready to join a league? You can join as a team or individual and have three types of leagues to choose from.
Visit cedarrapidscurling.com for more information on pricing, different types of leagues and upcoming dates for Learn to Curl and Curling Night events.