Queen's embraces women's curling championship
Larke Zarichny has been involved in curling for many years, both as a competitor and a volunteer. The passion she feels for the sport led her to serve on the executive committee for the upcoming Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“Putting on the Tournament of Hearts is such a huge undertaking. I hope that’s the one thing people realize when they attend the championship,” says Ms Zarichny, the undergraduate program assistant in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering. “This event is an opportunity to showcase Kingston and what the city and the people have to offer. Hopefully, it will attract other top-notch events to the city in the future.”
Ms Zarichny is serving as the vice-chair of hosting for the nine-day event, overseeing such things as team services and transportation, information services, and lounges. She will rely on a team of close to 100 volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly. In total, 400 people will give some of their time to ensure the Tournament of Hearts is a success, including Melanie McEwen, Manager, Alumni Education and Travel.
“As soon as I found out the Tournament of Hearts was coming to Kingston, I told my colleagues I was taking vacation during that week so I could volunteer,” says Ms McEwen, who is helping out at the HeartStop Lounge, which will feature top quality Canadian bands every night of the tournament at the Kingston Memorial Centre.
Ms McEwen has curled since she was in high school. For years she participated in the Queen’s staff and faculty curling league. Games were held on Wednesday nights at the Royal Kingston Curling Club when it was located on Clergy Street. Ms McEwen believes the friendly competition in the league in part helped build a sense of community at Queen’s.
“The great thing about curling is that people from all walks of life participate,” she says. “When I am out on campus, I still interact with people I first met through curling. And I am sure I will see a lot of them at the Tournament of Hearts. The relationships you build through curling truly do last a lifetime.”
Ms McEwen has always been impressed with how friendly curlers are, whether they are recreational players or the elite competitors who will take to the ice at K-Rock Centre starting February 16. It’s a sentiment echoed by Victoria Roberts, a member of the Queen’s women’s curling team. She has attended the Tournament of Hearts in past years and has always been struck by the athletes’ interaction with attendees.
“The chance to talk to these women, some of Canada’s top female curlers, on a personal level is really positive for the community as a whole, but in particular it can be very inspiring to junior curlers,” says Ms Roberts (ConEd’15). “Ultimately, I think it offers a rather unique sporting experience that can be enjoyable for a variety of spectators, from active curlers to those who simply like watching the sport.”
Queen’s is one of the sponsors for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. More information