Four curlers from Hay River boarded a plane for Toronto on Thursday after earning the chance to compete against some of the country’s best club players.
Team members Paul Delorey, D’arcy Delorey, Daniel Richards and Glenn Smith will be representing the NWT at the Dominion Curling Championships in Toronto on Nov. 19-24. The men’s team won against three other teams at the territorial playdowns in Yellowknife in March to get the chance to travel to the championships.
“We did have some really close games,” said team member Paul Delorey. “In at least two of the games there was one or two points difference and you are always looking to be at least one point up and look to have the hammer in the last end, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”
The curling club initially experienced some setbacks, including a leaky roof from the heavy snow storms earlier on in the season, making practices a challenge.
“We were on the verge of losing the ice because of the roof leaking,” said Delorey. “That took a lot of volunteer hours hauling water and took away a bit of ice time. It was kind of a worry leading up to this Dominion playdown.”
This was the team’s second go at attempting to get to the championships. They travelled to the curling playdowns in Inuvik in 2011, but lost to Yellowknife and vowed to try again. Two years previous, a women’s team from Hay River travelled to PEI for the meet.
Attending the event comes at no charge to the curling club: the Dominion Curling Club takes care of costs associated with transportation, meals and accommodation. Curlers also have the chance to participate in a high-performance camp.
“We’ve been curling for a long time so we are kind of set in our ways that way, but you are never too old to learn new things,” said Delorey. “They treat it almost like the Brier championships or the Scott Tournament of Hearts or any or major national event, so it’s a pretty big deal.”
Hay River’s team members have between 15-40 years of experience, which they’ll need to take their place among the 26 men’s and women’s teams heading to the championships in Ontario.
The Hay River Curling Club season began the third week of October and will last until March.
by Angele Cano