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La Crosse Curling Club offers Learn to Curl event 

La Crosse Curling Club
Students at ‘Learn to Curl’

Commonly referred to as “chess on ice,” curling engages participants in a strategic battle that resembles both bocce and shuffleboard. It is a complex sport and is routinely one of the most viewed events in the Winter Olympics.  


Last fall, the Mathy Center recommended a Learn to Curl event at Green Island Ice Arena for interested students. The event took place on Oct. 30, 2022, and three Viterbo students signed up. Only one made it to the event, and with two instructors, he was able to learn with very individualized guidance. 


Gabe Rombalski, a junior applied mathematics and analytics major, was the only student to attend Learn to Curl, and he found an interest in the winter sport. He prepared for the event by watching a six-minute YouTube video on the basics of curling.  


One of the instructors was Robert Richardson, a former UWL professor with connections to Viterbo. His wife, Silvana Richardson, has been a professor in the School of Nursing since 1991. Rombalski has become close with the couple, stating, “They’re very, very kind people, really embracing the whole hospitality and generosity values of Viterbo.” The other instructor was Chris Hoffland, a nationally recognized track and field coach. Rombalski says, “He was more than cut out for the tasks that a Learn to Curl instructor would be responsible for.” 


There was another Learn to Curl in 2023, and the turnout was drastically different. Rombalski states, “Probably around 20 to 25 people just there to learn… In stark contrast to when I went there, and it was just myself.” Rombalski also acted as an assistant instructor and helped teach attendees curling basics, such as throwing stones, sweeping the ice, and understanding the scoring rules.  


Rombalski has gone on to play in the club’s league and highlights the value of teamwork in curling. “There might be an ‘I’ in ice, but there’s no I in team,” he says. He is on a team with Robert Richardson, among others, and he acts as “Vice Skip,” which means he throws the fifth and sixth rocks. There are nine weeks in the season this year, and their team is currently 0-3. Rombalski remains optimistic with the sport, noting his lack of experience and acknowledging that league is, “There for fun.” 


There may be other curling classes offered at Green Island Ice Arena, and Rombalski recommends any interested students to keep up with the club’s Facebook page, which is La Crosse Curling Club. 

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About the Contributor
Noah Nelson
Noah Nelson, Editor
I’m the Editor for the Lumen. My major is Sports Management and Leadership with an English Writing minor, and I also compete for the Men’s Golf team.
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