If I told you where I’m from, you would probably have to search it. I am from a very small community on the south coast of the Labrador portion of Newfoundland and Labrador. With a population of around 200, I never had the opportunity to try curling. Both of my parents are curling superfans, so at a very young age of 5 years old I started watching curling with my mom and dad religiously. I have memories of watching various tournaments with them in the living room, my mom closely watching and dad shouting as if he was the coach. As I grew older, my love for the game started to grow too. I remember watching Jennifer Jones win the Scotties in 2005 and crying when she won, because I wanted her to win that badly. I was only 10 years old at the time. My mom was also crying because I knew how badly she wanted to be in St. John’s watching it live, but she couldn’t get there. Since then, I’ve always dreamed of watching curling live with my mom and dad and I kept hoping that we would get that chance some day.
When I graduated and went to university in Corner Brook, NL I finally got the chance to try curling for the first time. I will never forget the first time I stepped on the ice, and I don’t think I ever will. I always had a love for the game but once I started playing, it took it to another level. I played in a fun league that whole year. I then moved to St. John’s, NL the next academic year. I heard that Paradise would be hosting a Grand Slam event, with all of the best curlers from the country. I could hardly believe it, and I could not contain my excitement. I thought the best way to experience the event would be to sign up as a volunteer. While volunteering, a guy named Greg Smith carried on a conversation with me in the stands. Little did I know at that moment, he would end up being one of my best friends, a team mate and someone who I owe so much to for getting me involved with curling in St. John’s. That event also brought my mom and dad all the way from Labrador (a two hour ferry ride and a 12 hour drive) to watch the final weekend games with me- what an experience!
Since that event, I also volunteered with the Brier in 2017 as a bartender in the patch. I got to experience the Brier up close and personal, and also got to watch Brad Gushue win the final in an arena that was absolutely explosive. Thanks to Greg, I also started curling in a league at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club, which led to playing on the university curling team. At that point, I was curling almost every day at both the Bally Haly and the Remax Center. I played in various leagues at both clubs over the 4 years I lived in St. John’s. I was a part of the Memorial University Seahawks team for 3 years, in which we got to go to USport Nationals in Alberta in 2018. We placed 2nd in AUS championships that year, securing us a spot in the Curl 4 Canada event in Leduc. I got to curl on arena ice, which of course was a dream come true. I have never been more proud of myself as I was for making it to a national curling competition.
Now I am a grade 1 teacher living back home on the south coast of Labrador. There are no curling clubs close by so I’ve had to sacrifice playing the game I love to be back home. However, I am showing my love for curling through my teaching. Last year I taught elementary, and I did multiple lessons on curling with the kids. Most of them had no idea what curling was. We did a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity one day where I got the kids to create their own curling rocks using only aluminum foil and something heavy for the inside (ex- coins, washers, nuts, etc.). I constructed a curling house in the hallway and we played a few games with their homemade rocks. It was so cool to see it actually work and put into action. The kids kept asking me if they could play days after. I tried incorporating curling into different curriculum areas, including science and math. We cheered hard last year when Team Canada (Gushue) and Team Smith (Team NL) were both at the Brier. This year with my little grade 1’s, I have many plans coming up. With the Olympics just around the corner and some big national competitions, I plan on doing some fun activities with them to promote the sport. I am so passionate about curling and I am so glad I can share it with my students. Hopefully someday I will get to live out my dreams again and play the sport I truly love, but until then I will continue to cheer for good shots and teach about the one thing I could talk about for hours!
A photo of me at USport Nationals in Leduc, AB in 2018; A photo from 15 years ago- we had a project where we had to talk about our hero. I made a sculpture of Jennifer Jones; A photo of my students last year making their aluminum foil curling rocks and playing a game in the hallway; A photo of when I met Jennifer Jones at the Grand Slam Tour Challenge in Paradise in 2015.