Curling is exposed to the world every four years during the Winter Olympics and this year it has been exposed to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus.
The Curling Association of UWSP is currently in its first year as a university recreational club, as the university approved the club last November. In their first year they have been very successful.
With 13 active members, the club has seen success in the Midwest competing in tournaments called bonspiels.
Currently, the club is qualified for the United States Curling Association National Championship in Blaine, Minn. from March 14-16.
Club president Ryan Kernosky felt confident going into the season. “We knew going into it we would be successful. We are usually the team to beat,” Kernosky said.
The majority of the members have been curling for years prior to the club being recognized. Kernosky is in his ninth year curling. Club treasurer Matt Rueth is in his fifth year of curling.
The group has many members that have curled before but are looking for new players. Kernosky and Rueth say the club is fortunate intramurals for recruiting purposes.
“We work with intramurals to pull players from and get to a more competitive level,” Rueth said.
Kernosky hopes the club will be more interactive with intramurals. He is also open for advice from intermural players.
Kernosky believes that the exposure the sport has from the Winter Olympics will increase membership.
According to Kernosky, most private curling clubs do open houses during the Olympics to allow people to come try the sport.
“Curling is a quickly growing club sport in America,” Kernosky said.
The club’s next season will start near the end of October and they hope to see an increase in members.
“The Olympics and intramurals should help us get more members early,” Rueth said.
Rueth describes curling as a lifetime sport. “It’s a lifetime sport. Anyone from 10 years old to 90 years old can do it,” Rueth said.
As founding members of the club, Kernosky and Rueth both have hopeful visions for its future after they leave.
“I hope that it still thrives, and that the club competes at nationals,” Rueth said.
Kernosky has confidence in club advisor Jodi Olmstead to lead after he graduates. He feels Olmstead has good specific visions for the club in the future.
Rueth also has hopes the club can host a bonspiel in the future in either Stevens Point or Wausau.
The Curling Association of UWSP is free to join, with the only fees being for hotels. If interested in joining the club you can like their Facebook page for information, or contact Ryan Kernosky by email at email@example.com.