WOLFVILLE - Hubert Sullivan is a walking – more like skipping – example of how age is merely a number.
The 92-year-old curler teamed up with Rob Stirling, a fellow Wolfville Curling Club member also in his 90s, to participate in the Provincial Stick Curling Championships running from Feb. 16-19 on their home ice.
“I’ve been curling since I was 30 years old and I don’t know anything else,” said Sullivan with a grin.
“It keeps you in shape.”
On Feb. 16, all eyes were on Sullivan for a recognition night planned in honour of his longstanding contributions to the promotion of stick curling within Nova Scotia.
“He really felt that it was important to get stick curling going in the province because he could see curlers that really were having difficulty, for one reason or another, getting out of the hack,” said Wolfville Curling Club member Betty Mattson, event co-ordinator for the provincial championship.
Stick curling presents the option of moving the rock from a standing position, and requires less sweeping.
“They stay in curling longer because they have a more enjoyable game,” said Mattson.
“You have to be very good on your weight and you have to be very accurate.”
Club members Sullivan, Stirling and David Crowe – all in their 90s – each signed on for the provincial stick curling showdown.
“It’s incredible to see them being so accurate with the stick and enjoying playing the game,” she said.
“The thing about curling is that you can do it at any age.”
Sullivan has filled many instrumental roles at the Wolfville Curling Club over the years, covering all the bases from maintenance to executive duties.
“He’s a doer,” said Mattson, noting that the Nova Scotia Curling Associated opted to name the provincial stick championship trophy after Sullivan.
“He’s always doing things behind the scenes.”
Asked why he’s stuck with the sport into his 90s, Sullivan said there’s never been a reason to stop.
“I just keep on going,” he said with a chuckle.
Stirling, a versatile lead, has enjoyed adapting his approach to the game as the sport, and venues, evolved with time.
“My most challenging curling was north of Toronto. We curled in a skating rink there and it was a real challenge,” he said.
“Today the ice is more perfect but years ago you had to read the ice and then judge your game as you went along and I enjoyed the challenge.”
He finds stick curling to be a bit easier on the body these days, and likes to be able to compete without worrying about being stiff or sore as a result. After all, he still gets up early in the morning to work at the family farm more often than not.
“The biggest benefit of stick curling is not having to get down and up,” said Stirling.
“It’s a real, good challenge and it’s always been a friendly atmosphere.”
Did you know?
Live results from the provincial stick curling championship in Wolfville can be viewed here: