OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — The sport of curling has found an unlikely home in East Oakland. Better known as the sport of the Midwest, it is beginning to gain popularity on the West Coast.
With the “clack” of a boulder, the sport of curling is sweeping East Oakland.
“It’s been a long-time dream for, I think, for a lot of people in the curling community in Northern California – you know, having the first dedicated ice facility here, it’s just an incredible event of the open now officially,” said Patrick Tabuchi, he and her husband, Matthew David, are longtime members of the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club.
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“My husband and I started curling in 2003 and 2004 in San Jose when there were 20 people on the ice, and watching it grow to where it is today and seeing some great rigs is just a day memorable for all of us,” David said.
“It took a ton of volunteer work and a lot of donations and people willing to believe in us and lend us money,” said San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club board member Adriana Camarena. “But above all, you need something you like to talk about and that’s the spirit of curling.”
“It’s a unique sport and they are unique people who love and have a passion, no matter where you are or where you travel, we’ve met people from all over the world,” David said.
Tara Campbell: “How did you come across the sport of curling? It’s not the most common sport in California.”
Matthew David: “It is very true. I have to give credit to my husband Patrick who thought it would be something fun we could do together.”
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“We first started just watching it at the Olympics and we thought it was a different and interesting sport. And I really like the strategy part – it’s like chess on ice, you always have to think to the blows, to the different positions of the stones.”
“We’ve been curling in Oakland for a very long time and this building and facility where we landed is just amazing for us, it’s close to public transportation, our neighbors are amazing and we’re thrilled to be in this neighborhood ,” said Kate Garfinkel, president of the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club.
“I’ve caught the curling bug…and I want more, especially those in East Oakland,” said Treva Reid, member of the Oakland City Council, District 7.
“It’s one of those sports that, honestly, is ‘rooted in kindness, it’s rooted in politeness – it’s rooted in just using your voice and rubbing shoulders and sweeping towards a goal common and I think that’s just a great way our community can come together,” Reid said.
Beyond the funds to operate the facility, countless hours are spent maintaining the ice and it is all done by volunteers.
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“If you look at the texture of the ice, it’s rocky as they say and has a texture that allows our rocks to slide and roll and that’s the kind of environment you need to become a very curler. competitive – and so we dreamed for many years until we were able to build this facility.”
And with each curvature of a rock, the dream continues.
Tara Campbell: “Do you hope there are future Olympians on this ice?“
Adriana Camarena: “It is one of our dreams that we can help young people find their place in our home.”
Here is a link to the curling club where you can get registration information.
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