The History of the Dallas / Ft. Worth Curling Club
In 2002, America started to pay serious attention to an Olympic sport that had been fairly obscure. Curling -- stones launched down the ice by one team member while others direct its trajectory by sweeping the ice in front of it -- became a cult passion. Clubs began to spring up in parts of America that had never before heard of curling. Today, the Dallas/Fort Worth Curling Club stands as an example of how far South the appeal of this sport has reached.
Our club started in a coffee shop on St. Patrick's Day after the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. David Villegas, Keltysue Harris, Mark Parker and Dan Johnson gathered to talk about the possibility of starting a club. As the club's first officers, they plotted a course to put curlers on the ice in North Texas. They found an unlikely ally in a local radio show that had also been obsessing about the sport. Mark Davis from WBAP (AM 820) brought his colleagues and more than a few listeners into the fold.Spreading the news about a new club is one thing. Having the facility and equipment to actually do it is another. Securing a home at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Duncanville, (just south of Dallas), and borrowing stones from the Houston Curling Club, we held summer open houses that gathered enough people to begin league play in the fall of 2002.
In 2009, the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Duncanville removed its ice. It will remain fond in our memories as it gave us seven great years of curling. Fortunately, the Dr Pepper StarCenter franchise had other facilities, and we found ourselves curling in Farmers Branch (just north of Dallas).
During past summer seasons, the USCA has run a clinic at our facilities and we hosted the other At-Large clubs for three days of curling meetings and training. Our club sponsored a charity bonspiel for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundations. We also hosted the inaugural event of the Red River Shootout by inviting Oklahoma down for a weekend of competition during the Texas/Oklahoma football weekend.
Ten successful seasons have followed as our club has grown in size and commitment. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver gave curling a boost in popularity and visibility. Using that interest, we have grown our membership and our vision to build a dedicated ice facility. Our goal is to have three sheets before the Sochi, Russia Olympics in February 2014. Our models are the Columbus Curling Club in Ohio and the Evergreen Curling Club in Portland, OR.
The start of the 2012 season is somewhat bittersweet. We've had to make a difficult transition from the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Farmers Branch, leaving a company that has supported us from the start, to the ITC in Richardson. The club looks forward to working with our new partners, and hopes that it leads to the growth that we need to meet our dedicated ice goals.
Our passion and our membership continue to grow and so does our pride as we have accomplished so much and continue to prosper.