Curling to Success: Members of CHS curling club talk about upcoming plans, hopes for group

Ben Traylor, Reporter

After Team USA’s Olympic gold medal in curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, excitement regarding the often overlooked sport has consumed some CHS students looking to emulate Team USA’s success. Founded in February by junior Ayanna Newhouse and junior Charlie Hunter, the curling team is aspiring to bring the sport to the high school level in Indiana.

“After the Olympics and seeing how excited everyone got about the team this year, we wanted to give people an opportunity to learn more about something that isn’t necessarily part of mainstream culture,” Hunter said. “This year, we want to introduce people to everything that goes into curling because it’s more than just throwing a stone and sweeping. There’s a lot of science and strategy behind it that we want to teach.”

CHS Curling Club attracted 46 students to its first callout meeting on March 8, with an additional 24 opting to livestream the meeting. Hunter and Newhouse scheduled the introductory meeting largely to explain basic rules to interested students and to obtain an estimate on roughly how many students would consider joining the program.

Beyond organizing the club at CHS in the past few months, exposure to world-class talent via social media has encouraged the club to grow and attract a larger audience.

“There’s this guy on the US Olympic team that won this year, Matt Hamilton, who we’ve encountered a couple times on social media,” Hunter said. “He’s seen our Instagram and our Twitter and right now we’re actually working on getting him to call into one of our meetings so we can talk to him about the team and his experiences.”

According to Allison Haley, curling club sponsor and English teacher, this experience will be an invaluable resource to the club for the future, allowing students to understand the ins and outs of curling from a professional.

“We’ve already contacted Circle City Curling Club to teach us some tips and explain the rules. If we can get Matt Hamilton to Skype us, he’s an Olympic Gold Medalist. I think it just gives the kids an opportunity to learn about a different sport,” she said.

In the following months, Curling Club will utilize the Carmel Ice Skadium to organize the first official practice in the team’s history.

“We’re doing our best to get this off the ground, really,” Hunter said. “This is something I care about bringing to the school and the support behind us will help us do well.”