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Curling is my everything

Kelsey Meger

January 29, 2021

My curling story started when I was about five years old in the Little Rockers program at the Whitehorse curling club. Suzanne ran that program like clockwork. Over the years I learned the basics and then I tweaked the basics. When I was in grade seven, I was asked to play on a competitive girl’s team.

I had met two of the girls previously, as it was a small town. One I met in Little Rockers and the other I went to school with. If you had told me then that those girls would be lifelong friends despite all four of us moving to various locations across the country, I would not have believed you. We played together for eight years. We went through many ups and downs, as teenage girls tend to do, but through it all, curling was the one thing that kept us together when it seemed like we might fall apart. I love those girls to this day and I would play with them all again in a heartbeat.

Every year, for six of those eight years, we lost the play downs for junior nationals. Then in our last year together, we made it. I can’t describe the feeling of finally reaching a goal that you’ve strived for, for eight years, I truly can’t. If there are any Harry Potter fans out there, I’ll say this: thinking of that moment when we arrived at the arena to compete at junior nationals, would be how I would conjure my Patronus.

After that I was lucky enough to get to compete at juniors again after I finished college, this time with a different team and my dad as my coach. It was a genuine privilege to have been able to experience that with him. Growing up he never wanted to coach anything my sister and I did because he always said that he couldn’t do it or that he wasn’t good at coaching – that was obviously untrue. I watched him prove himself wrong while coaching my sister for a few years when she had no other options. He went on to win the Coach of the Year award from Sport Yukon in 2016.

Having him coach me at a national level was a once in a lifetime experience for me and I hope to be able to play with him competitively some day.

I moved to Manitoba in 2017 after living in Ontario for two years, and since then I’ve been able to rekindle friendships with people whom I met over ten years ago at a curling camp in Alberta. I now curl with two girls I met back then, another girl who’s engaged to our coach and a good friend who I met at my first Junior Nationals, in 2015.

More recently curling has brought me my partner. I met Andrew online after living in Manitoba for a couple of years and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Our mutual love of curling was what drew us to each other, or was at least part of what caused us to swipe right. Because of the curling picture in his profile, I started the conversation by asking him where he curled out of. We’ve now been together for two amazing years.

He’s been the best partner I could have hoped to have, on and off the ice. I still cannot believe how lucky I am. His team and the people I have met because of him are some of the best people I know, and I can’t imagine my life without any of them.

Curling has brought me so much. Beyond just getting to play at a national level with some of my best friends and alongside my dad, I’ve had opportunities to play internationally and in so many beautiful locations across the country. It’s brought me peace when I needed it, be it after a major car accident or after I moved away from home. It’s always been there for me when I needed to take my mind off of life, and always brought the comfort of family.

It brought me my first kiss and my first dance. It also brought me a chance to teach and give back to my community. I’ve coached the Little Rocks and Learn To Curl programs at several different clubs across the country and I’m grateful to have done so, and to continue to do so once we can get back on the ice.

Curling gave me everything I have. It gave me lifelong friendships and took me places I wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to visit otherwise. It gave me the love of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful. For me, the curling community has always been my family – not by blood but by sport. This isn’t the end of my curling story; it’s still the beginning and I can’t wait to see what happens next.