Blind Curling, in Vancouver


[swoosh] ANNOUNCER: Here is an
AMI This Week Shortcut with Grant Hardy. [music playing] MAN: Come on, rock. Come on, rock. Come on, rock. TIM HURLEY: There’s a
strategy to the game that I always
enjoyed, like watching what’s going to happen,
anticipating two or three throws of the rock. GRANT HARDY: Tim Hurley, one of
many curlers on the Vancouver Blind Curling League, slides
heavy stones along a long sheet of ice from the hack line
or start line at one end, past the hog line, and
aiming towards the house, or scoring area,
at the other end. Players can make contact
with others’ stones to knock them away, and
sweepers sweep the ice to help direct the stones. The goal is to be on
the team with the most stones in the scoring area
at the end of the game. As a longtime curler,
it was important for Tim to be able to
reconnect with curling after he’d lost his vision. TIM HURLEY: My disability
took a whole bunch away from my quality of life. And as much as we
talk about, well, let’s not think
about disabilities– let’s think about abilities– I have to pick and
recreate what was going to give me value in life. And going out and playing
with others in games has got a value. It’s a social activity. And by coming out and figuring
out how to go curl again made my life bigger after
I lost so much of it. GRANT HARDY: Coaches
like Jim Haul volunteer to adapt the game. JIM HAUL: Well, it’s
surprisingly quite similar, except the blind or
visually impaired can’t see all the
way down the ice. So we have to use
aids like flashlights or just give them direction
on where to throw the rock, provide feedback on the
weight, how far down it goes, and whether you have to throw
harder or less hard to get the rock down the ice. And of course, you don’t do any
sweeping when you can’t see. You might trip over
rocks and whatnot. Otherwise, I curl regularly,
and sometimes the blind curlers can hit the button better
than my sighted curlers. GRANT HARDY: The
league is a lively lot. Jim tells us more about it. JIM HAUL: It’s not one team. It’s a whole bunch of about 20
that come out every Wednesday, and they have fun games. They’re a very social
group, and they enjoy it. GRANT HARDY: Sounds
like my kind of sport. Wearing a pair of
rubberized grippers to help keep my
balance on the ice, I had Jim help me
serve some stones. JIM HAUL: That’s very good. That’s almost halfway down. GRANT HARDY: I had, shall
we say, mixed success. I could tell that was not so
hot as soon as I let go of that. JIM HAUL: Yeah,
because you almost wiped out his camera pad. GRANT HARDY: OK, all right. Yes, that’s why we
signed a waiver. OK, OK, so I still
need some work. With the right training and a
slightly less destructive aim, maybe I could be more like
seasoned curler Fraser Hilts, who has been curling
for more than three decades. He explains that Jim, along
with the other coaches, are instrumental in
blind curling’s success. FRASER HILTS: Jim’s a great guy. He’s got a great attitude,
great perspective on the game, lots of
knowledge, and very supportive. And he’s been a coach for a
long time for Vancouver Blind Curling. A fantastic guy-I always
like having him as my coach, but we have a number of
coaches, and that’s great too. We have almost eight coaches
that come out on their own time just to help us out,
and they don’t even expect to throw
rocks themselves. They’re just there to help us
in the game, interpret the game, help read the ice, help
with some strategy, and help to make us better. GRANT HARDY: As for Tim,
curling has helped him on and off the ice. TIM HURLEY: I’ve had to be more
assertive about making contacts with other people, as
opposed to being passive. It’s really easy after you lose
your sight to become passive. And I kind of had
to choose to become more extroverted, intentionally
trying to be out there.

1 thought on “Blind Curling, in Vancouver

  1. I wanna give everyone and we TV and Grant Hardy I thumbs up emoji Toms up emoji
    You guys are incredible and you get Balue to the people who are blind and visually impaired aired for that I want to thank you because I'm Bishea impaired and blind and you guys give me the spirit that if I ever live in Canada I will have a better life

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