(SportPEI) The PEI Curling Association is looking to expand its programs this season by attracting those who are either vision impaired, or wheelchair bound, to the sport.
A demonstration and workshop for interested participants, or volunteers who would like to coach and guide, is being held at the Crapaud Community Curling Club on Sunday December 6. It is hoped that representatives from all PEI curling clubs can attend these sessions.
The wheelchair demonstration will be held from 10.00am-1.00pm, and the vision impaired session will go from 1.30pm-4.00pm. The Crapaud rink will be fully accessible to curlers with both disabilities.
Leading the vision impaired session will be Shawny Ross, who became involved with the Ottawa Blind Curling Club before moving to Prince Edward Island eight years ago. She has introduced a program at the Charlottetown Curling Club, and is looking to expand the sport not only recreationally, but so the province can compete at the national vision impaired championships, which have been ongoing for six years.
Vision impaired curling involves four curlers, and a sighted guide, who will be on the ice giving direction on shot selection, location etc.
Leading the wheelchair-bound workshop will be Chris Daw. Daw is an outstanding athlete in a variety of sports including wheelchair basketball and rugby, but it is in wheelchair curling where he has excelled, including winning gold at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy. He is also an accomplished motivational speaker, preaching his message of “No Limits” to both the able-bodied and the physically challenged.
Wheelchair curling is played in exactly the same way as regular curling, except the chairs are stationary on the ice, and the rock is released using a delivery stick.
“We are delighted to be able to put on this workshop and clinic,” said Gayle Johnston, Technical Coordinator for the PEI Curling Association. “To have Shawny and Chris deliver the sessions will be informative and educational, and we encourage anybody who may be visually impaired, or who uses a wheelchair, to come out and see what it is all about. Curling is the most social of sports, and disability should be no barrier to participating and having fun.”
Those interested in the wheelchair session should contact Johnston at 368-1071 or firstname.lastname@example.org, while information and registration for the vision impaired session should be directed to Shawny Ross at 367-2790 or Shawny@eastlink.ca.