Midland Curling Club sees increase in participants - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Midland Curling Club sees increase in participants

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MIDLAND (WJRT) -

(02/17/14) - It's the sport that sweeps its way into the global spotlight every four years.

"People do wipe out when they're down there. They're going hard and just go crazy," said Kevin Heye, of the Midland Community Center.

The Midland Curling Club has become a hotbed for the sport. The club has had its members throwing the rock since 1962.

"It's incredible that the club is celebrating its fifty-second year, and it continues to grow. Of course, every four years, with the Olympics, even more people have an interest," said Leslie Perry, of the Midland Community Center.

Thanks to the current wave of Olympic exposure, participation in Midland has never been higher.

"We're over 270 curlers this year, and that's just regular people in our leagues, not including everyone that's been coming to open houses, and all of our rentals that we do also," Heye said.

The Midland Curling club's competitive juniors program has also received quite the boost.

"We've really focused on trying to get middle schools and high schools out here. In the last two years, we've had teams, both men's and women's, compete at the national level for juniors," Heye said.

While curling has been compared to shuffleboard on ice, hard core curlers beg to differ.

"It's really more like chess on ice, because its really strategic and it takes a lot of brain power and a little bit of muscle," Heye said.

As far as all that sweeping and sweating is concerned, "It's going to make a rock go further, we reduce the friction and drag it a bit further. A good sweeper can add 15 feet, they'll move a stone," said Chris Gaumer, Midland Curling Club president.

The Midland Curling Club will hold an open house this coming Saturday at noon. It's happening at the Midland Community Center. For more information, click HERE

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