Palmetto Curling Club Championship Draws Eight Teams to Compete for Gold
GREENVILLE, SC, February 23, 2011 – Competition for the first Curling Championship in South Carolina’s history begins March 1 at the Greenville County Recreation District’s Pavilion ice facility. The Championship, hosted by the Palmetto Curling Club, will conclude on May 24 with one of the eight teams competing being awarded the gold medal as the first South Carolina State Curling Champion.
Organized curling first appeared in South Carolina in response to interest generated by the televised 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. A diverse group of Upstate residents formed the Palmetto Curling Club last May not only to teach the Olympic sport to local residents and to host competitions, but also to promote curling’s distinctive traditions
“The Upstate of South Carolina is a dynamic community that has attracted residents from all over the world for the quality of life the area has to offer. With increasing cultural opportunities and an innovative, knowledge-based economy, the Upstate is truly a distinctive community that will continue to prosper and grow,” Beau Welling, President of the Palmetto Curling Club, said. “This first-ever State Championship, is going to go a long way in helping us show others how this thinking person’s sport is part of the distinctive culture that is Greenville.”
The Olympic sport of curling is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, and its growth in South Carolina was predicted by state House District 24 Representative Bruce Bannister, who in 2009 introduced a bill to promote curling as the Official Winter Sport of South Carolina.
“I’m so happy to hear that we are going to have a State Championship,” Rep. Bannister said. “Curling is such a unique sport — it can be played by people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures, while the traditions of the sport promote camaraderie, sportsmanship, and friendship building. It fits South Carolina perfectly.”
The Palmetto Curling Club is a South Carolina non-profit corporation established in 2010 by a few Upstate enthusiasts who envision the distinctive cultural and innovation contribution curling can make to Greenville and the Upstate. The Palmetto Curling Club meets Tuesday evenings at the GCRD Pavilion.
Curling is an ancient Scottish sport played on ice where each member of a four-person team “shoots” 42-pound granite stones across the ice toward a target. The team’s objective is to position as many of its stones closer to the target than its opponent’s nearest stone during each “end” to earn points. The winner is the team that has at game’s end the most points, which is normally is between eight and ten. Curling is a sport of honor, tradition, and integrity that requires both physical dexterity and complex decision-making. It made its official debut as a medal sport in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano Japan.