Saskatoon’s blind curling club headed to Edmonton for Westerns

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Saskatoon’s blind curling club headed to Edmonton for Westerns
Blind or partially sighted individuals in Saskatoon have come together to form a curling team to build a sense of community. Mackenzie Mazankowski dropped by to learn more. – Mar 11, 2024

Saskatoon’s Sticks and Stones Curling League is looking to wrap up its season in Edmonton this month at the Western Blind Curling event, saying the first season of the sport was a big success.

“It just gets everyone out into the community and learning different things,” said Howard Berntsen, co-ordinator for the blind curling club.

The curling season begins shortly after Thanksgiving and wraps up near the end of March and is open to all ages. The club has two teams this year and plays on Sunday evenings.

Berntsen said the game is almost the same, just with the extra help of some sighted volunteers.

“Obviously a blind person wouldn’t sweep so we need sighted volunteers to help us sweep and coach and stuff like that.”

Berntsen said the club has a national coach who pitches in every Sunday to help them better their game.

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“He kind of lines us up on the ice to throw the rock where it needs to go.”

Charlene Young, co-chair of the Sticks and Stones league, will be playing lead when the teams head to Edmonton.

“It’s the camaraderie that gets me out,” Young said. “Just being with others with vision loss and being able to share the same interests of different sports.”

Jordan Weedan, sweeper and third for his team, is hoping the teams fill out more next season.

“A lot of these people get to experience the world with each other, and it helps them develop their skills and become more independent blind people,” Weedan said. “Curling makes it easy to give them a third space.

“I enjoy the welcome feeling of getting to come, getting to play with my friends and enjoying myself.”

The club is looking for volunteers next season beginning in October.

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