Sharing the love of curling through generations and continents
When my parents came to Canada from Pakistan over 50 years ago, they were seeking new opportunities and new adventures. Their focus was on their education, careers, and raising their growing family in Northwestern Ontario.
As they immersed themselves into their new life in Canada, they tried curling. Little did they know that mom’s participation in the ladies’ league with her coworkers and dad’s participation in annual staff-student bonspiels would lead to a lifetime of curling memories for their kids and grandkids.
Curling has been an integral part of my life and I am thrilled to say it has become an integral part of my children’s lives as well. Bilal was yelling “hurry hard” as a toddler and although Kaamraan took a detour through hockey, he found his way back to curling.
Curling has been central to so many of our family memories over the years: attending numerous Tim Hortons BrierS, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and Roar of the Ring events, Mom and Dad meeting Brad Gushue, our family trips to Chateau Montebello where my husband shows us his curling skills once a year, the boys introducing their cousins to the sport we love, Bilal pinch hitting as coach for Kaamraan’s team when they qualified for mixed provincials, long road trips with Bilal and Kaamraan leading to wonderful conversations that we never would have had at home, coaching the boys on their various teams (especially when they had the opportunity to curl together in high school), and living through the highs and lows of the sport with my kids.
Curling also helped our family through the low of my breast cancer diagnosis. It helped keep some normalcy in our lives through an otherwise challenging time. The boys curled, I did when I felt up to it, I coached, and I had the support of my curling family. Just after ringing the bell at the end of my treatment, my husband and I headed out of town so I could coach Kaamraan’s high school team. A few weeks later, even though I was still healing, I made the trip to the Tim Hortons Brier in Brandon to cheer on our club-mates with a member of my curling family.
In 2020, before COVID changed the world, I had the pleasure of sharing the Ontario Winter Games experience with both my boys. So many memories and hopefully many more to come.
Now, more than 50 years after my parents came to Canada from Pakistan, our family’s curling story is coming full circle. I am working with the Winter Sports Federation to bring curling to Pakistan. I’m looking forward to sharing the sport our family loves with a new country and am excited to play a part in the curling stories of a new generation of curlers in Pakistan.