Denver Curling Club members Tom Whitman, Matt Culbertson, Sean Stevinson, Darryl Sobering, and Scott Stevinson travelled to New Mexico March 21-24 to conduct Learn-to-Curl sessions in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The five curlers from Denver transported two sets of rocks, along with the necessary brooms, hacks, delivery aids, sliders, and pebbler. The Santa Fe session also required the Denver crew to lay out the ice for two sheets of curling at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.
On the evening of Saturday, the 22nd, after a few hours of set-up, over 200 interested and eager people participated in the four-hour event. Tremendous support and assistance was provided by the arena Ice Manager, Tom Miller, and his very encouraging staff, including Certified Ice Technician, Michael Hering. This was the second visit to Santa Fe for the Denver Curling Club, the September 2013 visit drawing over 170 participants. Ice Manager Miller, intends to establish curling at the Chavez Center this fall and hopes to have a Santa Fe Curling Club that will soon join the USCA.
The next morning, the Denver curlers headed to Albuquerque and the Outpost Ice Arena. This unique facility at the base of the Sandia Mountains already has two curling sheets installed, so set up was accomplished quickly. The Denver curlers were joined in this effort by recent Alaska transplant, Ryan Flippo, a young competitive curler who will soon to be attending college in Albuquerque. From 10 AM to 2 PM, 180-190 individuals were introduced to curling and organizers Robert Baker and Kendall Alexander were thrilled with the turnout. They have received quite a response from people wanting to join a league, as well as offers of help with the logistics of getting leagues underway. Robert and Kendall hope to work out an arrangement with the arena owner that will establish curling on a regular basis in Albuquerque.
The enthusiasm shown in both cities throughout the weekend by organizers and participants was tremendous. Some great bonds were formed and hopefully we will soon see curling played on a regular basis in both of these great destinations.