2 curlers on P.E.I. 'fortunate' they can prepare for national championships

·2 min read

It's going to be an odd curling season, all jammed into a few months in one location in Calgary, with many curlers across the country unable to train beforehand because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Two P.E.I. curlers on their way to national championships feel lucky that they are able to get on the ice.

"I'm fortunate here because I'm in Prince Edward Island so the curling clubs are open aside from the two-week shutdown we had in December," said Alison Griffin, who will curl for Team Nunavut at the Scotties.

"I'm able to practise almost daily and I play in a couple of leagues. Two of my teammates are also in provinces or territories where they're able to be on the ice. We're pretty fortunate. Some teams are struggling with the lockdown to get on the ice."

That's the situation for Adam Casey's team. He's with Team Manitoba for the Brier and his teammates are in that province. The rinks are closed there.

"We've been so fortunate that I've been able to get out and throw," said Casey.

In fact, he said, with no competing his practice has been more focused, which is not to say he likes it this way.

"You miss the competition," he said, but he had to think carefully about whether he was ready to make the commitment to participate.

"There was a ton of, just, uncertainty about whether it would go ahead.… And obviously there's the family side of it with the two-week isolation side of it and a young daughter at home. It puts a lot of stress on the family life, but excited to be able to curl."

Alone time

The bubble will open with the Tournament of Hearts at the end of February. Griffin will travel there and self-isolate for two weeks on her return. She feels fortunate that she has the flexibility to do that.

Devin Heroux/CBC Sports
Devin Heroux/CBC Sports

She said she will miss a lot of the activities that normally go on around the tournament.

"No fans, no fan experience, no HeartStop Lounge, no family there," said Griffin.

"It might be a lot of alone time."

Casey is facing two trips into the bubble: one for the Brier in early March and one for two grand slam tournaments at the end of the season.

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