New National Bonspiel Brings Less Experienced Curlers to Duluth

Curlers from all over the nation spent the weekend in Duluth for the first ever five and under national curling bonspiel.

DULUTH, Minn. – Curlers from all over the nation spent the weekend in Duluth for the first ever five and under national curling bonspiel.

Local Olympic champion John Shuster came up with the idea to hold the event where less experienced curlers can compete for a national title.

Curlers were from places as far away as California and Massachusetts all vying for a chance at a medal.

“This is a way for people who have less experience to get out and get some competitive juices flowing and compete for a national bonspiel championship,” said Steve O’Keefe, a US Curling Association representative.

Many of the curlers participating picked up the sport after watching it in the Olympics.

“I mistakenly thought if I ever had a chance at being an Olympic athlete that curling was going to be the sport and once I started trying it and learning how to do do it quickly realized it’s a lot harder than it looks,” said San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club member Meghan Khalsa.

The experienced curlers at the event commented on the high caliber of skill shown in the less experienced curlers and say curling is growing fast here in Duluth.

“We have a lot of new curlers that move into town and don’t know what to do so they start curling. We have over 600 members right now, our leagues are full and keep growing,” said Joanne Docteur who’s been curling for 38 years and is a member of the Duluth Curling Club.

Organizers say that curling programs are increasing in membership all over, and that’s thanks in part to inspiration from John Shuster who this month won his seventh national title and is on his way to worlds.

 

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