HELENA -- After a season of driving south to Butte to compete in the Copper City Curling Club, Jordan Tollefson and members of the Last Chance Curling Club are doing what they can to bring the sport to Helena.
“We started this back in June, so it was shortly after last year's curling season ended. We've been curling with the Copper City Curling Club in Butte for about a year. When the ice came off in Butte, that was when we started talking about starting up a curling club here in Helena, to building a club like this,” said Tollefson.
Across the past two years, from 2018 to 2019 and from 2019 to 2020, membership in the United States Curling Association saw an increase of 12% and 2.3%, respectively. With interest in the sport rising, Tollefson said the two outreach events the club has in the early days of the 2021 are completely full of people who want to learn to curl.
"As of this morning, all of the slots have been filled up, so we have 80 people registered to learn to curl this winter,” said Tollefson.
For many people, curling is a foreign sport only seen every four years at the Winter Olympics, but for Vice Chair of the Club, Andy Welch, the appeal is one that’s similar to chess or golf.
"The complexities of seeing a shot, planning out a shot, and then trying to implement that shot successfully, is really challenging," said Welch. "I think that anybody that's been in the game for one year, like a lot of us, or 35 years and they've been doing it forever, they'll still enjoy that same challenge."
The Last Chance Curling Club's Facebook page can be found by clicking here.