Meet the volunteers from Boston who are daring to dream big

  • Photo © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

If the come-from-behind Team USA Olympic curling gold medal taught American fans anything, it’s that no dream is too big.

That’s the spirit Dick Dawson and Scott McLeod are harnessing this week at the 361º World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The duo are volunteers from the Broomstones Curling Club just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

To them, volunteering is about more than making the event run smoothly. It’s a reconnaissance mission. They dream of one day bringing the world curling championships to their backyard, hosting the event in the heart of Boston.

The dream began last year in Edmonton, Canada when the pair volunteered for the first time at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017.

“We said, ‘What would it take to run this? Could we do it in Boston?’” said Dawson.

Upon returning home they spread the idea at their club while touting their volunteer experience. This year in Las Vegas two new recruits from Broomstones Curling Club volunteered with them.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to see the game up close,” Dawson said, “and you never get an opportunity to listen to the players talk to each other and quite literally sit a row from the world’s best players.”

While they’re here they take notes.

“You look at how well it’s organised,” said Dawson. “You kind of hope to capture that passion.”

The two curlers, who both started curling within the last five years, believe the enthusiasm can be duplicated in Beantown.

“We think it can happen in Boston,” said McLeod, who became interested in curling after watching it during the Vancouver Olympics. “We think we have the right people in our club. There are so many people with so much expertise who can help contribute,” he said.

They’ve thought about logistics, too. Take ticket sales, for example.

“Boston is home to 67 colleges and universities all within walking distance of the facilities we’re thinking about,” Dawson said. “There’s a curiosity factor.” Not to mention, he adds, Bostonians are sport fanatics. “If it’s a sports event, if it happens, we show up,” said Dawson.

He’s been in that position before — when the World Men’s Curling Championship was held in Lowell, Massachusetts in 2006 he was one of those Bostonians who just “showed up.” Knowing very little about curling he attended the event after watching games on TV. Once an elite soccer coach within the national system, now he’s an avid curler.

His enthusiasm for the sport exemplifies the explosive grassroots growth USA Curling has experienced in America, especially after the gold medal in Pyeongchang.

“It is fantastic to see so many of our U.S. curlers here enjoying a world-class championship event on home soil,” said USA Curling Director of Communications Terry Davis. “With the amazing growth that USA Curling is experiencing right now thanks to our recent Olympic success, seeing the enthusiasm of our fans and their desire to host big curling events down the road is great for the sport’s future here in the United States.”

Dawson and McLeod plan to attend the World Women’s Curling Championship 2019 in Silkeborg, Denmark next year to continue fuelling their ambitions.

“We know it’s still just a dream,” Dawson said.

But, as the Olympic “Mira-curl” proved — dreams do come true.

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media in the build to the 361º World Men's Curling Championship 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2018 #curling

Written by Jolene Latimer