It’s the sport that everyone loves. It happens once every four years, in perfect synchrony with the Winter Olympics, but then goes back into oblivion. In any case, in Curling it is impossible not to love and among the local protagonists of this sport there is also a Monregalese. Mauro Cuniberti, who turns 46 this Thursday (happy birthday), has two young children, a job in a bank and a life of commuting between Turin and Venice, for love. He started trying his hand at the sport about ten years ago and, last weekend, he managed to conquer the Serie C championship with his team “Draghi Ston@ati” from Turin. All this after a triumphant 12-game ride. won out of 13, including the final (10-4) against the Lombard team of Bormio. The unwritten law of the third time in curling still dictates that winners pay their opponents a drink, so you walk out with your wallet light but very happy. We reached out to him on the phone to tell us what the “spirit” of curling really is.
Mauro, first of all how would you define your sport?
Curling is often referred to as “ice bowls”. It is actually much closer to the game of chess because of the strategy behind it. It is essential to set up the different phases, the “End”, in order to arrive at the best situation with the last throws. And it is also very similar to billiards for the choice of angles.
How is the movement in Italy?
The boom began in Turin in 2006, with the competitions held at the Pinerolo ice rink which is, still today, the only structure in the region approved for competitions. The climax was then reached in 2012-13, when I too started. Turin has come to have three companies registered with the Federation and has always hosted, before Covid, the Tourin Curling Cup with teams from all over the world (in 2019 we won it ourselves!).
Your first approach?
Completely random, as often happens. The company organized one evening per week of “Approche du Curling”, open to all. I had just gone out one evening with colleagues and friends. And in the end we found a beautiful environment. They call it “the spirit of curling”. It’s friendship, the desire to be together and to play sports.
Difficult question: how to play?
Teams are always made up of 5 people. 4 play and we make a reserve. The roles include the “lead” who shoots first, followed by the “second” (second) and the “third” (third), then there is the skip (the “director” who sets the strategy). Each player throws two “stones”, while the other two “sweep”. My role? I am a third party and I am also vice-captain.
Are there any “professionals” in this world?
There is the national team, which goes to the Olympics, which is made up of members of various military and paramilitary sports groups. For the rest, we are all volunteers. The movement is small: about 350 people all over Italy and we all know each other.
And how the structures?
It’s a sensitive point. Fortunately, at the PalaTazzoli in Turin, where we train, they have recently created two tracks dedicated exclusively to curling. I would like to add a thought: it would be good if an ice rink was also built in Mondolè to serve as a “polo” for skating, hockey and all these sports.
For those who want to get started, what do you recommend?
Curling is truly a sport for everyone, no requirements are required. Our company often organizes approach days, I suggest you take a look at our Facebook page”Turin Draghi Curling Club“Or on our website www.draghicurling.it.