Any curler will tell you that the sport is also a great way to build community, be social and have fun.
That’s why Campbell Riverite Kelvin Adams is looking to put a team together. Only his team will be specifically for people who are living with vision loss.
Adams began losing his sight in 2013, and he says the experience can be very isolating.
“Dealing with like sight loss, it’s isolation in itself, right?” he said. “You feel fairly isolated even when there is no pandemic.”
Adams, who is also involved with the Canadian Council for the Blind in Campbell River, took part in an event in October in Kelowna where participants learned curling and bowling.
“I was pretty inspired. I got back here decided to start bowling. I got bowling going every Tuesday now.”
From there he met a few other people who were interested in curling.
Blind curling is not much different than curling for people with full vision. For those who are totally blind, a guide helps the curler line up their shot. For people with a bit of sight, they attach lights to rocks and brooms to help guide shots. Most players also use a curling stick (for pushing the rock), but Adams said some of the younger players slide out of the blocks.
“I’m still learning the sport myself,” he said.
If enough players sign up in time, Adams said that they have a shot at competing in the provincial championships in Prince George Jan. 5, 6, and 7. The West Coast Blind Curling Association has offered assistance with the event.
Adams is also looking for a coach to help out with the team.
Despite the chance to compete, Adams said the real draw is the community feeling around the activity.
“That’s that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “just getting together with people with similar problems kind of peer mentoring each other, I mean it gives you confidence.
“For people like myself they’re dealing with sight loss, it’s always in the back your mind. Like what if I go blind, you know what I’m in the dark and by myself? I’ve got lots of friends now that are totally blind and I realized that not the end of the world. It’s that community that that is important,” he said. “With sports activities like this … it’s more about creating community.”
To inquire about being a part of the team, contact Adams at email@example.com.