Kettle Moraine Curling Club looks to grow sport with 'Learn to Curl' clinics

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HARTLAND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As millions of Americans watch and cheer on Team USA during the Winter Olympics over the next few weeks, members of the Kettle Moraine Curling Club are hopeful that people will be inspired to get off the couch and give one of the Olympic sports a try for themselves.

"The Olympics are such a fun time," said Steve Everett, Jr., treasurer for the Kettle Moraine Curling Club. "We sit on our couches and say, 'Oh my gosh, that looks easy. I could do that.' It's great if we could have people come out."

Curling continues to gain popularity in the United States with Team USA taking gold during the 2018 winter games. Wisconsin's own John Shuster, a member of Team USA competing in Beijing, carried the American flag during this year's opening ceremonies.

"There's obviously a buzz when John Shuster and team pull out the gold for the USA," explained Everett, Jr. "Everybody's excited and they're reading about it; they're looking in their communities for ways to get involved."

On Sunday, Feb. 6, and again on Feb. 20, people can pay $25 for an hour-and-a-half crash course that will introduce folks to the sport of curling and get them throwing stones down the sheet of ice.

Frauke Laus took a similar course to the one being offered eight years ago and hasn't looked back since.

"It's really awesome. It's a great community. We just love hanging out with friends," Laus said, before preparing to play in a bonspiel (curling tournament) hosted by the club Sunday morning. "It makes the winter go by so much faster to have an activity. The learn to curl events are a perfect opportunity to get a crash course on all things. They bring it together."

The courses will be taught by experienced members of the club, including 40-plus year curler Craig Sharkus.

"It's a sport that I just gravitated to because you don't always have to be the biggest. You don't have to be the strongest, and you can play at any age," Sharkus said. "I enjoy the sport so much that I want people to enjoy it as much as I do. It just takes getting on the ice one time and somebody's going to, hopefully, somebody falls in love with the sport like I did."

According to Everett, Jr., the 'Learn to Curl' clinics are available for people of all ages and abilities.

"I got an email from a woman who's 78-years-old and she said 'Am I crazy for thinking about trying this?'" explained Everett, Jr. "I was so excited to write back to her and simply say, 'You're not crazy at all. In fact, we would welcome you out here.' It really can be for anyone."

To sign up for a 'Learn to Curl' clinic, visit the club's website here or email the club: kmcurlingclub@gmail.com

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