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West Coast Blind Curling Association hosts provincial curling bonspiel in Kelowna

Blind Curling provincial bonspiel held in Kelowna
WATCH: The West Coast Blind Curling Association hosted the provincial blind curling bonspiel at the Kelowna Curling Club to determine which teams would compete at the Western Blind Bonspiel in Weyburn, Sask and at Canadian Vision Impaired Championships in Ottawa, Ont.

The best of the best in visually-impaired curling were competing in Kelowna this weekend, vying for a chance to represent B.C. in the Western Blind Bonspiel.

The West Coast Blind Curling Association (WCBCA) held its blind curling bonspiel starting Jan. 11 at the Kelowna Curling Club.

“You can get into a pretty dark place when you are losing your vision,” said Fraser Hiltz, West Coast Blind Curling Association president.

“So this is another avenue where people can realize that you can do things and have a lot of fun doing it and rise to another skill level.

“That’s something to be proud of.”

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Communication is key in the sport. Without sight, curlers tap, shine a light and talk to throw the perfect rock. With a few adjustments, Bill Mah, Kelowna Blind Curling Club president, is able to deliver rocks with ease.

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“For me, I am totally blind,” Mah said.

“I use a push stick, and a lot of it for me is just having a person set me up in the hack, make sure that my body position is correct and the rock is properly turned and we are good to go.”

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The victors of the weekend-long provincial championship at the Kelowna Curling Club have hammered their names into the list of competitors moving forward to the next level of competitions.

The Prince George Blind Curling Club will defend their title at the Western Blind Bonspiel from March 11 to 15 in Weyburn, Sask., and the KVK Rocks team, made up of players from Kelowna, Kamloops and Vancouver,  have to choose whether they will join Prince George in Sask. or compete at the Canadian Vision Impaired Championships in Ottawa, Ont. Feb. 2021.