Curling throughout the pandemic
Lisa Marie Houle
We are a curling family. Every one of us curls – we have all, at different times and for different reasons, fallen in love with the sport.
When Covid hit in 2020, our family had just attended our very first Tim Horton’s Brier and our junior curling team had just attended their first provincial event as a team. Both events were hugely successful and solidified our love and passion for curling. It has caused my kids to continue to dream about their place within the amazing competitive curling community.
We took it all for granted and had no idea what was to come. We had no idea at the time that our curling seasons would come to a halt. Not knowing how long this pause would last, we opted to make sure that no matter what happens, our family will not lose our ability to curl. We decided to build our own curling rink on our property
Last winter was our first season of outdoor curling. It didn’t take long for us to realize why curling was moved indoors! It took a lot of work and dedication to optimize the conditions, but it was all worth it! Our rink was about 75 feet long and when the conditions were right, it was almost perfect! We had borrowed the junior rocks from the Pointe-Claire Curling Club and made our own rings out of plastic tablecloths.
At the peak of Covid and the restrictions in Québec, it became a sanity saver and almost like an oasis for us. It got a ton of attention from neighbours, public security and anyone who drove by our house. Let’s just say that curling rinks are not seen very often in the suburbs of Montreal!
This year’s rink has some upgrades. We made it as long as we possibly could and somehow managed to add another 10 feet. With the help from Kevin Martin, we bought actual rings and a real hack. We even got our hands on a real set of rocks from a curling club that went out of business. And if that was not enough, with the help of a friend and iceman – Neil Gargul, we installed some logos that were used in the ice at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in the Calgary Bubble. Our family curling facility is now home to lots of games and even a few practices… Nothing will stop our team from being ready when we get the call that U18 Provincials are back on!
Covid may have slowed down our curling season but we refused to let it stop us!