This week, we feature Penn Curling Club President Elizabeth Shay, who breaks out the brooms and breaks down curling.
How did the curling club get started, and what does it consist of currently?
Shay: The curling club started a little over 10 years ago because there were students who had curled while growing up and wanted to continue the sport. Currently, we have about 10 people that show up consistently to practices as well as several others that stop in occasionally. Most of us never curled before college.
Shay: We actually travel to Paoli, to the Philadelphia Curling Club and practice every week with Villanova. Since this is the only place in the area with curling ice, we really don't have a choice in traveling. It does impact our practice schedule over having closer ice, but the train ride out allows us all to talk. Although we have a friendly competition with Villanova, it's really great to practice with them.
Shay: The bonspiels (competitions) are typically over a weekend, with the first draws (games) on Friday night, ending either Saturday night or Sunday morning. In most tournaments, teams don't play all of the games, so when you aren't playing you can talk to the other teams who aren't playing, as well as watch the draws being played. We also do homework if it's a busy weekend. Since the curling community is pretty small, you start to see the same people at every bonspiel, so it's fun to talk.
Shay: As I said in an earlier question, curling is really easy to pick up and it's a lot of fun. We teach newcomers how to play, so you don't have to already know the game. We're a really casual group, so there's no pressure to make every practice if you get busy. Besides, saying you've been curling is a really good icebreaker!
We practice on Saturdays from 12-4. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let send out the details!
Where do you think the club is headed in the future?
Shay: In the near future we're preparing for various bonspiels and potentially Nationals. In the long-term, it would be great to have a larger team and we would like to host our own bonspiels.