A national sporting event like the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier doesn’t happen without plenty of help. It’s safe to say that the Limestone City wouldn’t be able to pull off the Canadian men’c curling championship without a solid base of volunteers.
They do everything from dealing with the ice, managing the individual games, timing, scoring, and of course, dealing with the fans. They are the volunteers.
“An event of this size could never run without volunteers,” said Linda Lott, the vice-chair of the Kingston organizing committee.
Sure, it’s all about the curling, but it’s also about the experience the curlers are enjoying while in Kingston. And Lott says that positive experience doesn’t happen without the teamwork of countless volunteers.
“Some people have taken the week off so they’ve used up their vacations to be here to work other people,” Lott said. “A couple of my friends are still working, so they’re going to their day job and then coming here at night to work.”
Tom Bryant is one of those volunteers and was helping to score during Wednesday’s morning draw.
“What we do is we evaluate each of the shots,” Bryant explained. “We’re each assigned one of the four sheets of ice and we score all the shots for both teams — whether it’s an in turn or out turn, a hit or a draw, and then award zero to four points based upon the outcome of the shot.”
When it comes to the importance of volunteers at an event such as the Brier, Curling Canada’s Amanda MacKenzie weighs in.
“Without volunteers, this event would be nothing,” McKenzie said. “We have to thank all 385 volunteers that are here working and all of the different committees making sure that this event is running successful and smooth.”
Don Currier from Napanee is another volunteer, serving as the Brier’s director of rocks and ice.
“You can be the best ice maker out there but without your backup and support, you’re really nothing,” Currier said.
“I have working with me 24 other volunteers, qualified and non-qualified icemakers that have come out to help.”
Volunteers: helping to make the Brier an experience the athletes — as well as fans — will never forget.