Blind curlers adapt to game

The blind curling league at 100 Mile Curling Club is in full swing with eight regular players and a couple of drop-ins

The blind curling league at 100 Mile Curling Club plays every Friday morning with help from sighted guide

The blind curling league at 100 Mile Curling Club plays every Friday morning with help from sighted guide

The blind curling league at 100 Mile Curling Club is in full swing with eight regular players and a couple of drop-ins taking to the ice each Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Some are sharpening their skills for the upcoming 2013 Provincial Playdowns for the West Coast Blind Curling Association, slated for Jan. 3 to 5 in Prince George.

The provincial competition will feature four teams and the top two will advance to western championships.

Spokesperson Lori Fry says that players will be assessed

later on in the season and the team members will be chosen based on the assessment.

Fry says they have some work to do in order to be prepared.

“We’re encouraging more skill development and for those who are apprehensive, it can be about getting footing on the ice while sweeping.”

It’s just one aspect of the game which is made more difficult by poor vision.

The curlers are adaptive, though, and learn by following the rock and pretending to sweep it from an adjacent sheet of ice.

“That way, you’re learning what the speed of your sweep has to be and finding the comfort spots without worrying about tripping over the rock.”

Curling club member Ken Moore works with the group as their sighted guide, using specialized devices to help players line up their shots and coaching them on how to deliver their rock.

Fry says that sighted curler, Joey Seiler, who normally curls with the group, is being trained as a sighted guide who will travel with them to competitions.

The blind curling league welcomes sighted and vision impaired players to join them each Friday for games.

For more information, contact Fry at 250-395-2452.