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I’ve Been to 3 Provincial and 1 National Curling Championship, I’m only 12 years old!!

Colin McKay

January 17, 2022

Hello fellow Canadian curlers! My name is Colin McKay, I am going to tell you how I have been to 3 provincial and 1 national curling championships, and I’m only 12 years old!!!
First, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. As I had said, my name is Colin McKay, I am from Chatham, Ontario and I LOVE curling! My favourite curling teams of all are Team Hasselborg and team Gushue. My dad Matt, my 2 Uncles, and my papa Bob all used to curl , they were actually quite good! When I was 4, I honestly used to think that curling was the most boring thing on the planet. 2 years later, when I was 6, I tried curling for the first time, still thinking that it was boring. Once I got onto the ice for the first time, my dad had a hard time getting me off! I fell in love with the sport the second I started.

The junior curling program at the Chatham Granite club started in November (Great program by the way). Before the program one morning, the coaches were talking about this competition called the Hit, Draw, Tap. It is a skill competition for ages 6-13 where you play 5 of each shot (the Hit, Draw, and Tap). If you get your rock in the button, you get 5 points. If it gets into the 4 foot, you get 4 points, and so on. For ages 6-8, you only have to throw the rock to the house right in front of you (because the kids can’t push the rock all the way to the other end).

I did not want to participate because I thought that I wouldn’t do well. But my dad told me that there was nothing to lose if I did it, so in January, I went and did the Hit, Draw, Tap with my expectations very low. I got a score of 66/75, and I wasn’t really understanding that it was good, so I didn’t really care. The next week, the coaches at the program entered the scores into the provincial website, and 2 weeks after that, the club playdowns were over. Me and my family went to the computer and looked at the scores, I was second. In the province of Ontario. For the 6-8 age group.

Being in the top 10 booked us all a trip to Coburg for the 2016 Ontario Tankard.
We were there for 3 nights, the second day was the day of the competition. I got ready to go on the ice, and 10 minutes later, the competition started. We only threw 2 of each shot, because the time slot was small, but my total score was 28/30. I won. Winning this inspired me to keep curling and keep trying harder each year.

2 years later, still loving curling to no end. I was 8 years old, I got 68/75 at the club level, 3rd in the leaderboard. I went to the 2018 Ontario Tankard in Huntsville, Ontario. I stayed in my favourite hotel ever, and won 1200 tickets (a chess board) at the arcade! The 3rd day of the trip, I competed in the Hit, Draw, Tap. I missed my last shot, and it cost me the win. And second place. And third place. I got fourth in 2018 for the 6-8 age group. I was still happy with my result because of how far I had gotten, but I was also a little bit upset.

In 2019, it was my first time throwing full sheet. When it was time for the Hit, Draw, Tap, my score was 3/75. I did not make it that year but I knew I could try harder next year.

I was 10 years old at the time of the 2020 Hit, Draw, Tap was different. If you were in the top 10, you would compete at the Continental Cup in London, and if you won that, you could compete at the Brier in Kingston. My score at the Club was 34. I got 7th on the leaderboard, so we went to London for 3 nights! 4 people on the leaderboard did not show up for the competition, and I went into the competition with extremely high hopes. My score was 8/20, I for sure thought that it was not enough to win the provincials. When the organiser of the competition read the scores, I learned that 8 actually was good enough to win. I literally jumped over the boards into the stands and hugged my parents as tight as I could! My sister Raegan also made it to London that year, she was 8 at the time, and it was her first time at the provincials. She got 68, first in the club, 4th on the provincial leaderboard. In London, she also got first place with a score of 14 (throwing to the rings in front of the hack). Just letting everyone reading this know, arena ice is tough. But that won’t stop me and my sister!

In March, we were on our way to Kingston. We were there for the playoff round of the Brier and enjoyed it so much! The national final of the Hit, Draw, Tap was after the Semifinal game of the Brier. Me and my sister were both on different sheets for the competition. I got 12/20. I missed my last shot, a tap. If that tap didn’t roll the extra foot into the 8 foot, I would have won. I got second in Canada for the Hit, Draw, Tap, I was quite happy with my result. My sister got tied for 5th along with another member of the Chatham Junior Program.
We were so happy to achieve such a goal. This inspired me to keep curling forever. I will always try to improve, and maybe make it to the Brier one day!
4 days after the Brier, the province went into lockdown, how lucky were we to just miss having to cancel our plans for Kingston.

In 2021, the Chatham Curling Club was closed due to the pandemic.

This year, 2022, I have had my best curling season yet, my sister is also improving very well. The club had to close in December, and now we are waiting for it to open again. I really want the chance to compete in the Hit, Draw, Tap again because of the great people, great environment, and most importantly, the great fun.

Thank you to everyone who made it to the end of this story!
Please vote for it, this would mean a lot to my family to be able to go watch the Brier, we are curling fanatics!

If you haven’t tried curling yet, I strongly recommend it to you.I have made lots of friends curling, curlers are such great people, and the sport is fun.

That was my curling story of being in 3 provincial and 1 national curling championships, and I’m only 12 years old. See you on the ice!