Kingston Blind Curlers engage in ‘friendly competition’ at Cataraqui Club

Click to play video: 'Kingston Blind Curlers play for the love of the sport'
Kingston Blind Curlers play for the love of the sport
WATCH: Kingston Blind Curlers call Cataraqui home – Feb 28, 2020

The 2020 Tim Hortons Brier is almost here.

The Canadian men’s curling championship gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 29, and as the first rock gets ready to be delivered, Global News continues our look at curling in the Kingston area.

The sport is for everyone, including the visually impaired. The Kingston Blind Curlers hit the ice every Friday at the Cataraqui Club, and Hal Cain is a coach.

READ MORE: 2020 Brier preparations in Kingston ahead of schedule

“We have seven to eight curlers in the whole group,” said coach Hal Cain.

“We’ve got right now a core group of about six.”

Click to play video: 'Royal Kingston Curling Club celebrates it’s 200th anniversary'
Royal Kingston Curling Club celebrates it’s 200th anniversary

Along with Gary Allan and Sharon Suddergaard, Cain is actually one of three coaches, making sure the curlers are enjoying themselves. Cain says the coaches help out whereever they can.

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“A lot of these curlers have curled for years and years and they know the game, so it’s just giving them that kind of instruction about where they need to be about their shot, what kind of weight, and yes, we’re their eyes when they’re lining things up,” Cain explained.

“So, for all intents and purposes, we’re an assisted device for them.”

READ MORE: In the lead up to the Brier, Kingston’s curling historian takes a look at the game’s past

Vicky Stacknick is one of the blind curlers.

“If you’re using the stick, they walk forward with me, and then when I go to shot they try to make sure that I’m in line with the shot that they want,” she explained.

Stacknick has been curling for over 30 years now and says playing this sport is an important part of her routine.

“The fellowship and just the competition” are important to her, she says — “friendly competition, though,” she clarifies.

Click to play video: 'Rocks and Rings program helps students learn how to curl.'
Rocks and Rings program helps students learn how to curl.

Cain, who has been a part of the Kingston Blind Curlers for three years, says he’s enjoying every minute of it.

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“As a sighted curler … I’m not amazed but I am impressed with the way these blind curlers curl,” he said.

And with a little help from their friends like Hal, Gary and Sharon, there are no disabilities here at Cataraqui. This is about abilities and curling right through them.

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