Sport of curling sweeping into East Oakland, 1st club in Bay Area

"...it's like chess on ice, you have to always been thinking about the shots, different positions of the stones."

Tara Campbell Image
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Sport of curling sweeping into East Oakland, 1st club in Bay Area
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The sport of curling has found a home in Oakland. Known more as Midwest sport, it's starting to pick up in popularity in the Bay Area and West Coast.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The sport of curling has found an unlikely home in East Oakland. Known much more as Midwest sport, it's starting to pick up in popularity on the West Coast.

With the "clank" of a rock, the sport of curling is sweeping into East Oakland.

"It's been a long time dream for I think for many people in the curling community in Northern California - you know, having the first dedicated ice facility here, is just an amazing event to have it open now officially," said Patrick Tabuchi, he and and his 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 was 20 people on the ice, and watching it grow to what it is today and seeing beautiful facility is just a momentous day for all of us," said David.

"It took a ton of volunteer work and a lot of donations and people willing to believe in us and lend us money," said Adriana Camarena, board member, San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club. "But above all, it takes something that we love to talk about and that's the spirit of curling."

"It's a unique sport and it's unique people that just love and have a passion no matter where you are or where you travel we've met people from all over the world," said David.

Tara Campbell: "How did you stumble across the sport of curling? It's not most common sport in California."

Matthew David: "That's 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 got started first just by watching it on the Olympics and thought it was a different and interesting sport. And I really like the strategy part of it - it's like chess on ice, you have to always been thinking about the shots, different positions of the stones."

"We've been curling in Oakland for a very long time and this building and this facility where we landed is just amazing for us, it's close to public transit, our neighbors are amazing and we're just excited to be in this neighborhood," said Kate Garfinkel, President, San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club.

"I've caught the curling bug . . . and I want others, especially those in East Oakland," said Oakland City Councilmember, District 7, Treva Reid.

"This is one of those sports that honestly it's 'rooted in kindness it's rooted in being polite - it's rooted in just using your voice and coming alongside one another and sweeping toward a common goal and I think it's just a beautiful way our community can come together," said Reid.

Beyond the funds to run the facility, countless hours go into maintaining ice and all of it is done by volunteers.

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"If you look at the texture of the ice, it's pebbled as we say and has a texture that allows the our rocks to glide and curl and this is the type of environment you need to become a very competitive curlers - and so we dreamt for many years until we were able to build this facility."

And with every curl of a rock, the dream continues.

Tara Campbell: "Are you hoping there are future Olympians on this ice?"

Adriana Camarena: "That is one of our dreams that we can help young people find their footing in our house."

Here's a link to the curling club where you can get information on signing up.

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