Ice Chalet Starts New Curling League

Usually, they'd wait until fall to start a new curling league (under the auspices of the Great Smoky Mountains Curling Club), but the Ice Chalet wants to convert the Olympics-spurred interest in the sport into some new Knoxville aficionados before it slips people's memories. Thus, they're offering sort of a curling pick-up league/lessons on Sundays and Wednesdays from Aug. 4-Sept. 5. The unassuming but sharp as a tack Eddie Shipstad, the force behind the founding of GSMCC, will be on hand to facilitate and perhaps help beginners, though veterans are also expected to be in attendance. Says his daughter Mary Lu Shipstad, who works for the Ice Chalet: "I've seen people who were 5 years old enjoy curling. And I've seen people who were 80 years old learn to curl. People get concerned because the stones weigh 42 pounds, but you don't have to pick them up, you slide them, and there are extensions to use if you have back trouble." The full range of 10 lessons runs $80; prorated and drop-in fees are also available. You won't need special shoes, either, says Mary Lu. "Maybe just a tennis shoe type; you slide on the ice, instead of skating. No flip flops though—and stilettos won't work."

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