Charlotte, N.C.– Every four years an unusual sport finds its way in the spotlight during the Winter Olympics. In Huntersville, that fascination eventually led to the creation of a $2 million facility designed explicitly with that sport in mind.
The Charlotte Curling Association formed after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The association started with a few interested individuals on a small sliver of ice at the Pineville Ice House giving the sport a try.
As more people joined, the group decided to create a league and play one night a week. They then moved to Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail where they reached around 75 members. That’s when Kristen Conrad, a member of The Charlotte Curling Association, says the conversation turned to the potential of building a facility of their own after they realized they would not be able to get more ice time while competing with other sports
Currently, the association has about 300 members according to Conrad, 100 of which she says came after the 2018 Olympics. According to their website, a year-long membership for students under the age of 24 is $125 for the first year.
The Charlotte Curling Association also has a High School league along with Junior and Little Rocker leagues for children between the ages of 5 and 16.
The Charlotte Curling Association does welcome non-members to join them through Learn to Curls in September and January. The January session will be held on January 7 and 8th. Each session will hold 32 people.
These $25 sessions get you on the ice for about an hour and a half and allow you to use the association’s equipment. Participants are encouraged to wear warm layered clothing including clean tennis shoes as it is about 42 degrees on the ice.
Learn to Curl participants are also introduced to Broomstacking, post-game socializing, which Conrad explains is a key element of the game.
This year The Charlotte Curling Association will also be welcoming non-members on January 12th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their Open House. Individuals that stop by on January 12 will have the opportunity to “throw a couple of rocks and do a little sweeping,” out on the ice according to Conrad. They will also have the opportunity to meet Tyler George, a member of the 2018 United States Gold Medal Curling team.