Love of the game keeps senior curlers playing
Flight delays added to the chaos at Community First Curling Centre in Sault Ste. Marie as teams taking part in the Canadian Seniors Curling Championship waited for equipment to arrive.
But, once flights arrived, the teams took to the ice to throw some rocks ahead of the competition which begins Monday, Dec. 6.
Many of those competing in the seniors tournament have been curling for decades, some since they were children. Team Saskatchewan's Sherry Anderson has been curling for nearly 50 years.
"It's just a great social sport and it's good competition and it's a good thing to do when you're in 40-below weather," she says. "It gets you out of the house in the wintertime to go and play a sport. So, that's why I enjoy it."
Olympic medalist Cheryl Bernard brought her squad in from Alberta. Despite retiring from the sport, she's found her way back.
"It's hard to walk away," says Bernard. ""It truly is the people. It's a great community across this country. You know, you come to Sault Ste. Marie and I can phone Brad Jacobs and chat with him, or EJ or Ryan and that's a neat part about our game."
Both Anderson and Bernard say getting involved in the sport is as easy as making a call to your local curling club. They say there's plenty of reasons to give the sport a try.
"The beer is always cold, the red wine is just a nice temperature in the lounge, it's really, like I said, a very social sport and it's great for our winters in Canada here to get out and do something," says Anderson.
"The number one comment I get is how hard it is compared to what it looks like," says Bernard. "I've always said you're watching professionals, and so it's going to take a while to get to that level. But I think it's very easy to get a hold of a club and ask for a learn-to-curl, and then you can you can kind of go in some of their open leagues and try the game from there."
Opening ceremonies for the 2021 Canadian Seniors Curling are set for Monday evening (Dec. 6) with the finals set for the following Saturday.