As the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier gets ready to begin in the Limestone City, a number of Global Kingston news anchors hit the ice at the Cataraqui Curling Club.
Bill Hutchins, Shauna Cunningham, Doug Jeffries and Julie Brown wanted to get a feel for the game.
Whether it was learning to slide, sweep or deliver a rock, the four were taught by 2019 Brier competitor Scott Chadwick and former national schoolboy champion Mark McDonald.
Cunningham says it was an eye-opening experience.
“It is not as easy as it looks, not at all,” she said. “It’s one of those sports where you sit at home and it does look easy, and then you get that rock in your hand.
“First of all it’s heavy — it’s a lot heavier than I thought it was going to be — and just to keep your balance while you’re throwing it is something else.”
Bill Hutchins agrees.
“How to get the right weight of the rock so it ends up in — I think it ‘s called the house — and it’s teamwork, that’s another part,” Hutchins said of his learning experience.
“A big part of curling is teamwork, so you have to work with your partners to make sure that the rock gets where you want it to go.”
For Julie Brown, it was the first time she’d curled in over five years. She says the hour on the ice really puts things in perspective.
“It’s great insight into realizing what wonderful athletes these curlers are,” she said. “I think a lot of people think it’s just for fun, it’s a social sport. It is that, but they are athletes.
“They’re in the gym as much as they’re in the curling rink.”
As for Chadwick, he was happy with showing the anchors the ropes — or in this case, the rocks and brooms — and says it isn’t an easy game.
“Even at the highest level it’s not as easy as we make it look or those teams make it look,” Chadwick said.
“So an incredible amount of work goes on behind the scenes for all these top-level teams that you don’t see and it’s a hard, hard sport that takes years to master.”
The Global anchors were unanimous in their post-lesson comments, saying curling is definitely not as easy as it looks.