Come join us! $5 a draw to watch talented curlers!
I got to the Jasper Place Curling Club about lunch time. All the curlers were downstairs in players area and the place was busy busy busy as lunch was being served. Eventually I found my uniform (red hoodie for all volunteers, blue jacket to identify organizing committee), and grabbed lunch. I decided to buy a meal plan (same as some of the curlers/followers/volunteers) which was one of my better decisions this week: the food was great and I don't have to sort out two meals on my own.
My partner in crime showed me what's what and I settled into my new home for the week - the club manager's office. @kevinmalinowski and I are working from the office all week - me updating the online line scores/facebook/twitter/website and him taking photos, sorting out volunteer stuff, troubleshooting other things, doing computer stuff, tweeting etc. I also became a the de facto secretary as I think I answered a dozen phone calls, while also answering questions, showing people around etc. It was hard work! Plus I made a few runs up and down the stair to the bar for various reasons, one of which was to chat to @ErinCraig11 while she was holding the fort in the lounge. This is pretty much what we did until dinner time, with a Tim Horton's field trip in the middle to get coffee/snacks for the volunteer room.
A good chunk of this pre-game time was spent setting up and learning how to use the online curling statistics program. Not lying, there were a few glitches, but eventually we got it working alright - thanks to a couple phone calls to Super-CCA-Web-Team-Guy who was a star and helped us out a ton!
Somewhere in between there, the curlers got a surprise visit from Kevin Martin! He was awesome, so friendly! He posed for photos, signed autographs, generally chatted with people and was an all round fan-freakin'-tastic ambassador for the sport. If you read this blog you know I'm not quite Team Martin's #1 fan, but despite his on-ice 'Old Bear' persona, Kevin Martin is super nice in person. I was trying very hard to not be a fan girl, but @1CathyC and @kevinmalinowski made sure KMart didn't leave before I got a photo with him! And I'll even break my no-posting-pictures-of-me rule because it was so awesome:
So cool! This was a highlight of the day for sure.
Dinner time, then opening ceremonies. There was a piper piping out the curlers, a brass trio to do O'Canada, and then the Canadian Women's Deaf Curling team threw out the ceremonial rock. Jackie Rae (local radio personality, big curling supporter) was the MC and she was super funny as always. It turned out pretty well in the end.
Canadian Women's Deaf Curling Team
Game time. What a fleury of activity! I spent the next few hours going from the computer to the viewing area to input all the line scores. Between that, I was uploading photos to our Wheelies facebook page, and tweeting from our Wheelies twitter account as I'd been doing all day. I was also working on an update for the official Canadian Curling Association website. This was the part I was most nervous about, but I uploaded some photos and wrote up a short run down of the day's events. I hope to get some quotes from the teams over the coming days for these daily posts, but I think I did alright for my first real sports journalism gig:
Day 1 at the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship
This was posted on the CCA website/twitter/facebook page, and I'm not going to lie - it's kinda cool being published!
Ready to roll!
Big crowd, loud and rowdy!
It was pretty late by the time the games were over and everything was locked up/lights out. It was a busy day, but a super fun one. People (friends, colleagues, volunteers, strangers) always give me a funny look when I tell them I took a weeks holidays to work at this event (or any other curling event I happen to be volunteering for) - but it's always worth it. The people I get to work with, meet, talk to, watch curl on the ice, are always amazing, super friendly folks who I love hanging out with. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the event.
Best. Holiday. Ever.