There’s a buzz around Northern Michigan, and it can be summed up in one word: Curling. As a unique sport combining both physical discipline and nuanced strategy, curling is a physics-defying game of shuffleboard on ice, and a Northern Michigan event will introduce a new cooperative effort between Centre Ice Area and the Traverse City Curling Club bringing curling to the masses in Traverse City.
Centre Ice Arena is partnering with the TC Curling Club to bring curling to David’s Rink inside Centre Ice. This is the newest opportunity for the Grand Traverse community to enjoy Centre Ice Arena, which is well known for hockey and figure skating.
“We are thrilled to be teaming up with the TC Curling Club to make curling a reality for members of our community,” says Terry Marchand, Executive Director of Centre Ice Arena. “This offers people yet another reason to come to Centre Ice for recreation, camaraderie and good, clean fun. Curling is a sport that people of all ages and varying levels of athletic ability can play. It’s a perfect fit for Centre Ice and our community.”
On Saturday, April 26th from 9 am to 6 pm, Centre Ice Arena and the TC Curling Club will host a Curling Open House featuring demonstrations, instruction and the opportunity to curl and interact with members of other curling clubs from around the state. The open house is free to attend, although a nominal fee will be charged for those who wish to step on the ice and curl. This is the community’s opportunity to get an up close and personal feel for the sport and help them to decide if they would like to come back for more.
“Initially, we will offer Learn to Curl classes and Corporate Outings beginning after the open house,” says Marchand. “Eventually curling leagues will be formed if there’s enough interest which definitely seems to be the case. If possible, we’ll start those leagues later this year.” Transforming the ice of David’s Rink to accommodate curling has been a team effort in itself.
With assistance from the Lewiston Curling Club, the ice has been taken down a few levels to install the hacks and scoring ends within the ice. Curling stones have been ordered through a lease to purchase program offered by the U.S. Curling Association to enable new curling clubs to get started without a great deal of investment up front. The granite to make curling stones comes from only one place in the world, Kays of Scotland.
“Centre Ice is committed to making this work,” says Marchand. “You need to have the right ice and equipment to play curling and if we’re going to be involved in this, we’re going to do it right. Having a viable, active Curling Club here benefits the community and Centre Ice, which, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, benefits from increased activity and allows us to support our mission of providing the lowest cost of ice time possible to all our community user groups.”
For more information, visit CentreIce.org or call 231.933.7465.