Okotoks Western Wheel
Published February 27, 2015
LOCAL SPORTS

Okotoks in the house for fundraiser
Curling: Club hosts curler in cross-nation tour
Bruce Campbell
Okotoks A curler had no trouble reading the ice at the Okotoks Curling Club last week, he just needed a map of Canada to know exactly where he was. Rob Swan curled second for the Judy Yorke rink in the Seniors Mixed League Thursday as part of his Curling Across the Nation tour to raise money for renovations for the curling rink where he learned the roaring game in Harvey Station (pop. 363), New Brunswick. “I’m attempting to curl a 100 games in a 100 different curling rinks across Canada — right now I’m in the mid 80s,” Swan said. “I hope to be done next week.” Swan started his journey in his now home rink of Winnipeg in October. “I work for three weeks then I am out for two when I go curling,” Swan said. The busy schedule has him touring like his was John Wort Hannam — making a stop in small towns and leaving the folks with a smile and a story. After curling in Okotoks, Swan had lined up matches in High River and Fort Macleod on Thursday. “I got in contact with a lot of clubs in southern Alberta and I tell them this is what I am doing and they have been great,” Swan said. So far, he has curled in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta. Which means he’s shared a drink or two with curlers in six provinces – along with some of the strange tales at curling rinks. “I went into this one club out east and they asked if I got a picture of their dead president,’” Swan said. “They had all the president’s pictures on the wall. But in 1931-32 the president died halfway through the season. They went to the funeral home, propped him up, took his picture and hung it up.” Although Swan has had more laughs than picks, his main focus is to raise money for renovations for the Harvey Curling Club in New Brunswick. “We have to do some renovations to it,” said Swan, who has curled for 38 years. “It’s 50-some years old and it’s still got the original windows in it.” Yorke was glad to have Swan on board. “My third is having an operation and I needed a spare,” said Yorke, who is volunteering at the Brier this week. “I come from Montreal and I spent a lot of time in the Maritimes, when I heard he was going to play for us and we could help his rink, I said ‘Great.’” Swan said he has met a lot of great people on his journey and with just a few more games before the century mark, he’ll be in Calgary next week. He is more than happy to help fellow curlers Kevin Koe, Brad Gushue or Brad Jacobs in a pinch. “I’m going to the Brier to watch, but I will spare on anybody’s team,” he said with a laugh. For more information about Curling Across the Nation go to www.facebook.com/Curlingacrossthenation