Team Galusha all set to represent N.W.T. at national curling championships

·2 min read

Team Galusha is feeling good as it heads to Calgary later this month to represent the Northwest Territories and compete in the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

But the number one question on the minds of their friends and family is, will they be safe from COVID-19?

Shona Barbour, the curling team's lead, says Curling Canada, which organized the national women's curling championships, created a bubble around the site of the tournament to keep everyone safe.

She said she and her teammates, which includes Jo-Ann Rizzo, Margot Flemming and long-time skip Kerry Galusha, will undergo four COVID-19 tests within the first week of being in Calgary.

"Once you're tested and you're cleared, you go into what they call the Green Zone, and that's where you're only accessing the hotels, your rental car and the arena," said Barbour.

"And you are not to go anywhere else. So there's no drive-thru, there's no restaurants, no going to the gym. And we actually even have been told that there's no going outside, even for walks or anything."

Barbour, who said she feels very safe in N.W.T. because of the low number of COVID-19 cases, is grateful the trip to Calgary is a direct flight to the city and that everyone on the team will be on it.

"So we're kind of thinking we're one of the safest teams going down there,"' she said.

'Got a few competitive games under our belt'

The team is one of the only ones across the country that's been able to play this season.

Barbour said the Yellowknife Curling Centre, where Team Galusha is based, was approved to play earlier this winter and NWT Curling received permission from public health authorities to host the territorial championships, which it did last week.

In the final game of the tournament, Team Galusha won the N.W.T. championship, and the opportunity to represent the territory, by beating Team Rogers 10-6.

"We're really lucky that we've been on the ice for most of the season and we just got a few competitive games under our belt," said Barbour.

"So that's a bonus going into the Scotties, too."

The Scotties start Feb. 19 and run until the 28th.