2011 Continental Cup of #Curling: Volunteer Rally #2

Last night was the second Continental Cup of Curling volunteer rally (catch up on the first rally here). Once again the format mirrored the Roar Rally, except on a smaller scale. Clearly the Canadian Curling Association is a well oiled machine.

It was held in the banquet room of a casino. I disagree with casinos on principle, but it was a couple blocks away from the event venue (a large recreation centre) so I guess it made sense. There were three blocks of time for different volunteer groups, but luckily I was in the first group so got first dibbs on parking! I registered and was given a playing card ripped in half for the door prize draw. I declined a free ticket to the volunteer appreciation party too. Technically I can't go because I have a volunteer shift, but I wouldn't go anyways. It's fine volunteering for the event solo, it's another thing partying with strangers solo.

Next up: uniform pick up. The uniform is three pieces: a blue short sleeve v-neck, a black long sleeve mock neck and a beige jacket (all to be worn with black pants). I'm quite pleased with all the pieces, especially the tshirt which will be great to run in if I ever take that up again, and the jacket which will be great to curl in or go for walks etc. Yay uniform! Also in the bag was a pin and our accreditation badge. The photo super sucks again, but proved to spark humourous conversations at the Olympic Trials last year and I'll be able to get more autographs on the back so it's all good. I wonder if it would be ok if I got the front autographed too?

After picking up my stuff I was encouraged to take a seat at one of the four long tables for dinner. This is always a bit tricky as I am always solo and didn't know anyone volunteering this year (last year I just sat with a coach from my curling club). I picked a random friendly looking woman and asked if the seat next to her was taken, and voila, a new friend. We got dinner from the buffet (roast beef sandwiches, appetizers, veg and cookies) and had a nice conversation. Coincidently, she was Amy Nixon's mom! (Nixon plays third for team Kleibrink for you non-curlers still reading.) She was quite lovely, and told me how Amy got into curling (she was a ballerina until age 10, her dad's a curler/coach) and a bunch of stories from the events she went to from juniors till now (um, 2006 Olympics!) and how involved Amy is with young curlers. Fascinating conversation! I told her that team Kleibrink is my favourite Alberta women's team, and that I thought Amy had the best curling shoes ever (they're so cute, like teal blue sneakers, I wants some!). My new friend will be working medical, so maybe I'll bump into her during the event. I always meet the awesomest people at these curling volunteering things!

We also got to chatting with two couples who had sat across from us. One of the guys was on the board of the St. Albert Curling Club, and one lady was in charge of the Junior Stars  (kids age 11-19 who help out during the event, walk on with the curlers etc.). One of the organizers gave a speech, we watched a promo video, and then the volunteer coordinator gave a talk and drew for some door prizes. Amazingly, not only did I win a door prize, but so did the board member guy sitting across from me! Lucky end of the table I guess. My prize was CTV branded baseball cap, mens XL shirt, golf tee and pad of paper. CTV is my favourite, but I have a sneaky feeling most of the stuff will end up being a door prize at my curling league's Christmas social next weekend! To bad, because the shirt is really nice. Huge, but really nice.

Following all that, I said good bye to my new friends and met with my volunteer crew leader. Before we got to talking, the volunteer coordinator told us to go chat in the lounge so they could set up for the next group. I actually know the volunteer coordinator from the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship committee that I'm on too. I chatted to her briefly while people began moving locations. We walked past the actual Continental Cup that was on display and I asked her if it would be ok if I took a picture of it. She said of course and offered to take a picture of me with it. Now, normally I wouldn't ask to have my photo taken with trophies etc, but I took her up on the offer and am glad I did because I got a couple of super neat photos. I'll never be that close to the Continental Cup again, so yeah, it was cool.

Finally we had a crew meeting. I'm on the hosting team and there's four main positions: sponsorship lounge host, media lounge host, early/late set up, and check up. The lounge hosts basically stay in the lounges and make sure it's tidy and all the food/drinks are filled up. The set up people transport food/drinks from the loading area to the lounges, and the check up runners refill supplies during the day. There are more lounges too: volunteer, dispatch, officials, tv techs, and athlete/open - but those don't require full time staff, just fill ups. 

I have five shifts: Weds/Thurs/Fri/Sat 6-10pm late set up and Sun 3-8 check up. This means two things:
  1. I will be on my feet, running around a lot, carting and wheeling around supplies in all the different areas.
  2. I will miss all the mens events.

Well, you can't win them all - and thank goodness for my PVR! I'm sure I'll get to watch some of the mens events during lulls or while I'm walking around with my box of granola bars or cases of pop. Though it would be nice to have a post in a lounge where I could watch the tv the whole time, I'm quite happy to do some heavy lifting and running around.  I'm young and able and like being busy and I'll get to sleep in so it's a stellar situation anyways. 

I do plan on hanging around during the day to watch the other events. Womens games are in the morning and mixed doubles/singles are in the afternoon and I'm super stoked to watch the mixed doubles/singles! We are allowed to watch on the action on tvs in the volunteer lounge and The Patch (the beer gardens set up next door), or from the standing room viewing gallery if there's room. We can also strategically occupy empty seats as long as we're courteous if the ticketholders come late and all that. 

This whole post summarizes why I pay $100 to be a curling event volunteer: I get cool clothes, I meet awesome people, and I get to watch world's best curlers for free. The best part is the meeting awesome people part, and I'm certainly off to a good start!

So exciting! There's only 29 days until the Continental Cup - it's going to be so awesome! Forget Christmas, bring on the curling!


  1. Congrats! I'm jealo...I mean, envious!

  2. That's so cool!! I keep waiting for them to have big curling events nearby so that I can volunteer, I suppose it would help if I moved to a big city.

    You meet the nicest people at curling events! It's so neat that you sat down next to Amy Nixon's mom - you really never know who you'll meet I guess :)


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