Every Winter Olympics, the interest
and curiosity of the sport of Curling grows. That growth has certainly benefited
the Triangle Curling Club (TCC) located in Raleigh, NC. With the next Winter Olympics
slated for 2014, the TCC is now preparing to build a dedicated rink in the
Research Triangle Park area. Today, the club has a nice mix of Canadians, Northeasterners and
locals who participate in the sport.
Joe Mecca who is the spokesperson
of the club, grew up in Buffalo, NY, has been with the club since 2006. He
recalls watching Curling, Saturday afternoons on CBC while living in Buffalo. That interest continued
throughout the years, watching the sport during the Olympics, but he had never
played. "I remember watching Curling during the Winter Olympics with my wife in 2006.
She had a question about the sport that I didn't know, so I goggled it. I was
surprised to learn in my search, that there was a Curling Club in the area. So we went to
the next 'Learn to Curl' event and the rest is history, Mecca
The TCC currently uses a
traditional hockey rink at the Ice House in Wake Forest which is a suburb of
Raleigh. Before the 2006 Olympics there were about 30 members, several of whom were employed by Nortel at
that time. After the Olympics, it grew to about 60 and today it has
approximately 80 members.
In addition to the expected growth
from the 2014 Olympics, there has been interest from Duke University and the
University of North Carolina to possibly support Club teams.
The Club recently announced that it
has secured 7 acres of land, on SO HI Drive in Durham NC, under contract pending
rezoning, for the purpose of building a dedicated Curling facility in the Triangle.
Plans are being finalized to build
an approximately 13,200 square foot building to hold four (4) curling ice sheets
and warm room. Construction is scheduled to start around August 2013 to be completed before
the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "Building a dedicated curling facility is a great
advancement for our club and for the sport of curling in the U.S." says David Hamilton,
The club is confident that the 2014
Olympics and a new facility will increase the awareness of and participation in
curling in the Triangle. The 2010 Olympics generated a 16 percent increase in the
numbers of curlers in the US (about 16,000) as well as 15 new curling clubs,
including 2 in NC, making 41 states with at least one curling club. A curling only ice
facility would allow the TCC to introduce junior, College and Paralympic
Wheelchair programs to a new generation.
This facility will also be a great
hub for other Southern clubs such as Richmond, Wilmington, Atlanta, Charlotte
and Greenville. There currently is a well established club in Knoxville, Tenn.
Now that land has been secured, the
focus now switches to fundraising in an effort to reach the goal of having it
ready for the 2014 Olympics.