Make 2017 an amazing year for your club – and sport as a whole

By Rich Lepping, Chairman, USCA Board of Directors

our sport, I think 2017 could be the year to ask ourselves, what if? What if .... we had 100,000 members?. What if ... we had more money


than we knew what to do with it? What if ... we all curled on dedicated ice? What if ... our athletes made enough money to make a living at this sport and were able to support themselves and their families? What if ... we were able to shout from the mountain tops about the excitement and growth of our sport? What would we say? What if ... we had all the states and regions working together to build the attributes of what makes our sport so great? What if ... we had plans to harness the excitement of the 2018 Olympic Win- ter Games to help grow our membership, and retain it? What if? Over the last year, as I’ve traveled around the country, I found myself

trying to answer these questions and many more. All out of the desire to help, inform and deliver what it means to be a member of the United States

ave you ever said to yourself, what if? WHAT IF? Te funny thing is, I’ve been saying that a lot lately. Te strange thing is that I don’t know why. However, in terms of

Curling Association (USCA) – an associa- tion that was formed by the members, for the members, to help grow the sport and deliver valuable services. Over time, we have grown from small

clubs, to large enterprises, regions, and states. We have grown in athletic ability, visibility and leadership. We have a culture that very few organizations have filled with fun, passion, history, and most importantly, fellowship. We have ser- vices that every club and member can benefit from. Our partnerships with the World Curling Federation, the United States Olympic Committee, NBC Sports, the Athletes Advisory Committee, and finally our Board, is the envy of any organization. And, yet, I continue to ask what if? Pie in the sky? Wishful thinking? Maybe. Tis year, 2017, I challenge you

to ask yourself “What if?,” and make a difference. Find shared beliefs that help grow our sport, find common ground and more importantly, help me answer these questions! See you on the ice! Happy New Year and good curling.

February is Icemaker Appreciation Month

In a heartfelt letter written to the United States Curling Association this

fall, the young North Dakota team of Abby Kitchens, Sara Hodek, Sydney Steffen, Eva Sobek (pictured above), along with Coach Jon Mielke, asked us to consider declaring the month of February as Icemaker Appreciation Month to honor the “volunteers who gain nothing from their work except the satisfaction of a job well done. All too oſten these people go unnoticed and their efforts are taken for granted,” the girls wrote. Please join us this month, and all months of the year, in giving your icemaking team an extra thank you so they know how much we appreciate them!

USA Curling (( 5

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