12-year-old curls through nationals in Prince Albert
The Grade 7 student from Iqaluit, Nunavut, had never been previously exposed to curling at this level.
“It’s been awesome. I don’t usually get out to curl very much, maybe once a week, and it’s a lot of fun. The ice is way faster here, so, it’s easier to get in the hits,” Robertson-Laforet said.
While Calvin faces obvious challenges as a young competitor, his coach David Williams sees this as an opportunity to grow for the future.
“Being the youngest player and the smallest player, as far as the guys go in the competition, it’s a bit of a struggle for him at times, but it’s a good start. If he keeps curling he’s got, probably, eight or nine times that he can come (back) to this event,” Williams said.
The young curler has seen plenty of ice time this week, getting in nine games over the last six days. Despite the bulk of games, and the change in ice conditions, one of the biggest differences that he and his coach have noticed are the venues.
“For a lot of these kids, maybe, if they come here for the first time, they’ve never played in an arena, so, everything is different. Your depth perception looking down the ice is different, (and) the noise, you’re not used to the noise of the fans,” Williams said.
“It’s way louder in here,” Robertson-Laforet agreed.
“Those weird little clapper things, those are really annoying. Like, I cannot hear when people are telling me to sweep because people are clapping these little things.”
Experience isn’t the only positive that Calvin has taken out of his first trip to junior nationals as the tournament’s youngest participant. Although he has been able to pick the brains of his older teammates and competitors, he has also enjoyed the way everyone has embraced him.
“It’s nice being the youngest because you get to learn a lot more. You get a little bit of preferential treatment too, just a little bit (and) that’s nice,” Robertson-Laforet said.
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