CALUMET - Curling is a popular sport in Canada and some parts of Europe, and the members of the Copper Country Curling Club are hoping a free open house this week will get more local people interested in the game.
Gordon Maclean, president of the CCCC, said from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the organization is conducting an open house and curling instruction classes at their facility in the former Calumet & Hecla Mining Co. drill house behind the Calumet Colosseum and next to the playground for the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw.
Maclean said the members of the CCCC have conducted the open house for many of its 19 years of existence.
Photo courtesy of the Copper Country Curling Club
The ice for the Copper Country Curling Club in Calumet is shown in the club’s Drill House location. The club is conducting a free open house and curling instruction on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
"It's our main mechanism to get new people into the club," he said. "Some years it's fantastic. We always get people out of it."
During the open house, Maclean said instructors certified by the U.S. Curling Association will be available to explain the game.
No equipment is needed by those attending the open house, but layers of clothing should be worn and "gymnasium-friendly" shoes should be worn.
"Don't wear boots," he said.
Most of the people who come to the open house are aware of curling, Maclean said, but they may not have actually participated.
"They've never had an opportunity to try it," he said.
In recent years, club membership has been in the mid 60s. Maclean said, but last year it was at 53 because of uncertainty about whether there would be a season after the roof blew off the building during strong winds in July 2011.
After the open house, on Dec. 17, Maclean said members of the CCCC will begin to form leagues.
"We're gearing up for our new season," he said.
Members in the club can be 10 to 70 years old. The younger players will still use the regulation 42-pound "stone," which is slid on a sheet of ice toward a target, but they will play on a shortened course.
In the Upper Peninsula, Maclean said besides the CCCC there is a club in Escanaba. There are also clubs in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and downstate Midland.
Some CCCC members will travel to those other clubs to compete.
"People are willing to travel," he said.
On Jan. 18 to 20, Maclean said the CCCC will host a tournament with teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin and downstate. Maclean said based on a ratio of curlers to local population, the CCCC is one of the biggest in the country.
"We do pretty darn good," he said.
For more information, contact Gordon Maclean at 482-6788 or email at email@example.com. The club's website is coppercountrycurlingclub.com.