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Club History

Founding

Amanda and Brad Smith spent several years as fans catching the sport whenever it could be found on TV. Frustrated at the lack of local curling they attended a Learn To Curl at the Charlotte Curling Club. The curling was, of course, a fantastic experience. The conversation with Charlotte's members, board and founders were just as amazing. The couple returned to low country that weekend on a mission. The wheels were in motion to start a club within the year.

 It would take 6 long months of recruiting, organizing and learning before the club could set foot on ice. With visiting instructors from Charlotte, Atlanta, Palmetto (Greenville) and Tampa, the Charleston Curling Club debuted its first Learn To Curl on July 22nd, 2017. 36 People attended this first learn to curl, officially organized with 16 members.

2017nov bradamanda

 Pictured: Amanda and Brad at the 2017 Grits and Granite Bonspiel at the Charlotte Curling Club

Growth

Almost one year later, the club hosted it's Inaugural One-Day Bonspiel (a fancy curling word for tournament). The Bonspiel was a great success, drawing players and teams from Charlotte, Triangle (Durham), Coastal (Wilmington), Palmetto, Atlanta, Peachtree(Atlanta), Jacksonville, Orlando, and Duluth.
 
2019 would be a transitional year for the Club, as Amanda and Brad relocated out of the area. The club remained in good hands as Mike Simpson stepped up into the role as club president. Under his leadership the club hosted its "Take Two" of an annual Bonspiel.
 
Charleston Curling started 2020 strong sending teams to compete in several regional bonspiels. The Raymond Kayser Memorial (Mixed-Gender Teams), Elisabeth Childs Challenge (Women's Teams) and Francis Dykes Memorial (Men's teams). These events hosted by the Grand National Curling Club (GNCC), draw teams from across the eastern seaboard. The Charleston team won the D-Event Dykes Trophy the same weekend COVID-19 shutdowns began.
 
2020Mar Dykes
 Pictured: Mike Simpson, Chad Alojipan (of Schenectady Curling Club), Vince Lehr, and Gary Donnelly with the Sinnett Cup after wining the D-event of the 2020 Francis Dykes MemorialBonspiel

 

The Pandemic Years

The pandemic would impact the Charleston Curling Club, canceling all events the rest of 2020. These cancellations included what would have been our third annual bonspiel. Despite not being on the ice, the club would find creative ways to build community and position itself for a strong return. One of the the highlights was installing permanent in-ice houses at our Arena.
 
The club wouldn't hit the ice again in Mach of 2021. Despite the long absence, the club had modest growth throughout the year. It was also able to finally host its third annual bonspiel. The year ended guard with Katrina Friedman assuming the office of President.
2020Jan House Install
 Pictured: One of several volunteers installing permanent in-ice houses at the Carolina Ice Palace.

Looking to 2022 and Beyond

With the Winter Olympics being held in 2022 the club anticipates a steady stream of new curlers. Each of the clubs Learn to Curl sessions through February had been filled up, up-sized, and then filled again. The club is planning to keep the momentum going with plans for social events, league play and our annual bonspiel to be held in July.

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