Cape Cod Curling Club Keeps Trendy Winter Olympic Sport Alive
If you've been keeping up with the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games like I have, then you should be familiar with the curling competitions that have unfolded over the past week. I, for one, was fully engaged with what was on my television while teetering on the edge of my seat.
There's something about the precision and athleticism of curling that deserves more recognition. Watching the countries go back and forth in a beautiful display of defense and strategy added to the thrill, making it an instant bucket list item. That's when I found out about a place in Falmouth called the Cape Cod Curling Club that will teach you the sport in its entirety. It was fate.
I reached out and was connected with Jeanie Yaroch, a representative for the Cape Cod Curling Club, who gave me the 4-1-1 on this unique group of people that's been around for the past 53 years.
Its state-of-the-art facility, located at 37 Highfield Drive in Falmouth, not only allows the sport of curling on the well-groomed ice.
"Our surface is built specifically for curling and our equipment is built to manufacture and sustain the ice," Yaroch said. "When you're curling on ice that is multi-purpose, you won't get the same experience and it can become disheartening."
With its unique curling ice, it draws curling enthusiasts from all around.
"We welcome all and even have regulars who come fas far as Rhode Island to even Connecticut, simply because they like the sport and it's worth the drive," Yaroch said.
The Enticement Factor That Differentiates Curling From Other Winter Sports
The balance, stability, and flexibility is a very interesting focal point, and it's why I personally have become so invested.
"It's such a finesse sport, that women can and do hang with the men, playing as equals," Yaroch said. "What's even more impressive is how accurate they can get when taking out another stone. For instance, if they hit the stone target just a half-inch to the left or right, it won't go to plan."
It's also accessible to just about any potential player.
"It's such an adaptive sport where everyday Joes and Jills can participate and not have to worry," Yaroch said. "We have the tools to provide the curler with the means to conduct stick throws. If you can't get down and do a sliding delivery, it's 100 percent legal to use a specific stick, like a broom handle that connects to the stone and then releases when you push. It's perfect for some of the elders who enjoy it even in their 70s and well into their 80s."
What Makes the Cape Cod Curling Club So Successful?
"Curling in general, us in particular, we are an all-volunteer club. Very affordable, because we do it all, groom our own ice, big commercial kitchen, host parties, socials, cook meals and serve meals – we do it all, and the camaraderie and the dedication and commitment from the members are so exciting, you can feel it, people love to curl and the sport, so they come together to maintain the club," Yaroch said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club was booming with around 240 members, but is currently down to about 150 and welcomes anyone who shows interest.
Success Stories Spawned From the Cape Cod Curling Club
"I've been with the club for about 10 years, and we have had a number of youth/junior curlers who are now at a national level skill-wise against elite teams who are not Team USA, but are still competing at the Olympic level," Yaroch said.
The CCCC is the proud home of at least four Team USA Paralympic athletes and operates as a fully-accessible club where a good number of members themselves are wheelchair curlers.
Here’s How You Can Give Curling a Shot
There are two open houses coming up soon: one on February 20 and the other on February 27. Both days will host three separate sessions and each session is an hour and a half. To sign up, visit the Cape Cod Curling Club website and choose the date and time you want to register. A link with suggestions on what to wear will also be provided.
The Sport of Curling Knows No Age Limit
A couple of years ago, a member was recognized by the Guinness World Records Committee as the oldest curler recorded at the age of 99.
"(They) can start at (age) four, five, or six, as long as they can push a rock down the ice," Yaroch said. "We don't provide that but do have an active youth program. They even have a newbie learn-to-curl program.
No Need to Dress to Impress, as Long as You Dress Warmly
Be sure to layer up, and dress comfortably; you can always remove top layers to cool down. Wash and scrub with soap the bottoms of the shoes you plan on using on the ice, dry them, and transport them to the facility in a bag. This prevents unwanted outside gravel, rocks or anything that could chew up the groomed ice.
Rink Availability to Keep in Mind
League play is six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with morning, afternoon, and night leagues. On Saturday, the ice is available for corporate events, for personal use for practice, tournaments, and even private parties.