Between the Sheets: Curling (and golfing) in California… what a dream!
And I live in Calgary….why? As I sit down to write this blog its about -14 in Calgary and snowing… pretty, but cold!Terry and I just arrived back from a fabulous five days in San Diego where we played a couple rounds of golf, judged a cook-off at a San Diego Chargers tailgate party (my next blog) and attended the final play-off night for the Curl San Diego league! How you ask? Well, I received and email from Marychello (Maria) Brown about 2 months back, she had heard we were going to be in San Diego and invited Terry and I to drop by their Fall League Final. So we agreed to come and hand out their year end trophies as well as bring the medal and do some photos with everyone. Their league is held at the Escondido Iceplex in the hockey arena, the league volunteers come out the night before and move the rocks out of storage onto the ice surface so they are cold enough to play with on game day. They play an early and late draw on five sheets (so 10 teams per draw) and they are so much fun! Most of the league participants are beginners and many of them were drawn to the game after these past Olympics. I had 6 or 7 people come up and tell me that the Olympics had gotten them interested in the game and they looked on line and found Curl San Diego www.curlsandiego.org What impressed Terry and I the most were the people, their intensity and love of the game. It takes a lot of work to run a league without a dedicated arena and you could just tell that everyone involved made it work. Mark Dossett, who is one of the league organizers (and took the photos for this blog) said that they advertised a ‘Learn to Curl Clinic’ right after the Olympics entered and they were inundated with over 200 people… they had to run the clinic a few times to get through them all. The people we met were incredible.. the Shot Rock Girls team which included Marychello Brown and the league President, Francesca Somma were amazing! While Marychello and the other 2 members of team Shot Rock Girls are transplanted Canadians, Francesca is a born and bred American who should be living and curling in Canada..she’s got some talent and a passion for the game like I have not seen in a while! Maybe the USA Curling Association should be dropping in once in a while to check out the new talent?! And when we were done Francesca presented me with my very own Curl San Diego jacket – which I will wear with pride! The leagues biggest struggle (as with most Western curling leagues) is that they don’t have a dedicated facility and they fight for regular ice time with the hockey players. Phoenix, San Francisco, and Hollywood are all the same. So we met a curling fanatic Tom Hemenway who is the co-founder of the SoCal Curling Club and also Co-founded Hollywood Curling with Nick Kitinski (another great curling Californian) has put together a curling cruise through Panada Travel. It departs from Galveston TX on Sunday April 24th for a 7 night “Cruise and Curl” thru Mexico, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Things are looking up in the curling world! 70 hours of curling and cruising. And Olympians, Debbie McCormick and Patrick McDonald have donated themselves to be auctioned off on the cruise to help raise additional funds. And the best part is the funds raised by this event will go to building a dedicated curling facility in the Western US (location to be determined). So if you are interested go to www.waterspiel.net. It looks fabulous! So again, I regress… 75 degrees, golf and curling or -14, snow and curling? Temperature aside, the option to golf and curl on the same day is just so tempting!! Maybe the Shot Rock Girls will invite me to spare one night? I think they’ve already hired Terry as their San Diego coach whenever he is in town.