DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local curling club is hoping to expand into its own permanent indoor facility after seeing continued growth since it first launched.
Some nights at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton, people are having fun on the ice – but no one is skating.
“It’s great physical activity, it’s great social activity,” said Melissa Capelli, who enjoys curling at the park’s ice rink. “It really just keeps bringing us back season after season.”
Capelli and her friends Brenna Cross and Jessica Brewer wanted to try curling together. It’s now their third season playing with Curl Troy, a local curling club that hosts matches and classes in Dayton and Springfield.
“It’s like chess on ice for me, and I love being able to slide around, and I like the strategy of it a lot,” Brewer said.
In curling, players throw stones down the ice toward a circular target called the house. Sweeping helps the stone move farther or straighter, according to players. The goal is to get more stones closer to the center than the other team.
“I think that the fascination behind curling is that it’s just odd,” said Bruce Clingan, co-founder of Curl Troy. “It’s strange.”
Clingan learned to curl in 2010 after watching it on television. First playing in Columbus, he said, he wanted to raise awareness about curling in the Miami Valley. He started Curl Troy with his wife and some friends that year.
“When we started out, we were four people,” Clingan said. “Now there’s 71 people curling with us at RiverScape right now on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
The non-profit curling club is now trying to raise $30,000 to move into a permanent indoor facility in Fairborn, Clingan said. That fundraising goal would allow the club to make repairs to the roof, he added.
“One of the things that keeps me coming back is the social aspect of the sport,” said Jason Hillard, Curl Troy board member. “After every match, we all get together, have a drink, bite to eat, whatever. Talk about the game, talk about curling.”
Curlers we spoke with said they look forward to watching the sport on this year’s Olympics.
“It’ll be very interesting seeing it and knowing what they’re doing and being able to appreciate the skill level,” Brenna Cross said.
Curl Troy is getting ready for its upcoming spring leagues and lessons at the NTPRD Chiller in Springfield, Clingan said. Organizers have taught people between the ages of 5 and 98, he added.