These were my dad’s first words upon my birth. As such, Curling has been a huge part of my life.

My dad has always loved the sport. He played competitively for many years, dreaming of that fabled purple heart. And although he gave up his dream to settle down and start a family, he never lost his passion for the sport. It was at a very young age that my brother and I were introduced to curling. My brother, Ryder, even had a pair of baby curling shoes that he would be put in to cheer on our father in his final few years of high-level competition.

However, as a kid in Canadian primary and elementary schools curling is seen as an old person’s sport. This is an obstacle that I feel all junior curlers have to overcome. For me, this belief was even supported by gym teachers during school curling. While curing is a sport that can be played well into your senior years, at the competitive level it is also extremely physically demanding (just ask Joanne Courtney). Unfortunately, this discourages many of our youth, myself included, from wanting to try curling, opting for more popular sports such as hockey and ringette.

It wasn’t until my older brother made U15 provincials that I was even relatively interested in curling. Being the typical little sister that I am, I wanted to do everything that my brother did. Eventually, I started to tag along with him after school to go throw rocks. I quickly discovered how much fun curling can be, being put on my first team in the Lacombe junior league the following year. Then one day when I came into junior league they were recording scores to enter into a new competition called Hit, Draw, Tap. I managed to get the top qualifying spot in Canada, and this is when I truly developed a passion for the sport. Every time there was a spare sheet I would beg my dad to take me to practice.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I am obsessed with Curling, not only because I have the desire to become an elite, but because of the whole curling community. I may be biased, but I firmly believe that curling people are typically amazing human beings. There are many reasons for this, but mainly because curling is “the gentleman’s sport”. Unlike many sports such as hockey, you are taught to hate your opponent. In our sport, we shake hands with our opposition before and after every game, then go up to the lounge, to sit and visit. Some of my best friends are people who I routinely play against. This does amazing things for a person’s character development.

I like to think that I will one day live out my father’s own dreams of playing on a national level, even if I don’t, I have made many new friends and learned new things. I’ve even become closer with my family, playing every Thursday night, on my family mixed team.