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Virtual curling competition a hit with long-term care residents


Two screens show virtual curling matches
Residents were able to watch the action in real-time, putting virtual technology to the test.

“It was so nice to curl against another team; it’s nice to get the chance to get to know our neighbors!”

That’s what one resident of The Pines long-term care home in Burns Lake had to say about the first virtual curling competition, which took place during February 2022. Northern Health recreation therapists came together to plan the event, which coincided with Therapeutic Recreation Month and the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Residents of Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert, Bulkley Lodge in Smithers, Dunrovin Park Lodge in Quesnel, The Pines in Burns Lake, Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek, and Stuart Nechako Manor in Vanderhoof participated in the games.

Senior lights the torch for virtual games
Patricia, a resident of The Pines in Burns Lake, lights the Olympic torch!
Signs showing the teams for the curling competition
Each long-term care home designed their own flag.

How did it work?

Each long-term care home represented one team. Teams played in round robin games to determine who would play in the finals, which took place during the last week of February. Staff connected the teams through Zoom and captured all of the action on iPads. When it was time for the gold medal game, residents from the participating homes tuned in with popcorn and beer to cheer on their neighbours!

Woman sets up technology screens
iPads, Zoom, and TVs helped residents connect and play each game, despite being hundreds of kilometres apart.
Residents could watch the games on the big screen.
Residents could watch the games on the big screen.
residents curling in long term care
Residents in Smithers getting into the game.
Group of residents and staff pose for picture
The team in Smithers gets ready for their first game.
Long term care resident curling
Reg, a resident of The Pines shoots his shot!
Woman in wheelchair participates in recreation therapy
Pearl, another Pines resident, in action.
Woman curling in long term care
Mary, also from The Pines, gets in on the action.
Woman with walker participating in Recreation therapy
Jean, from The Pines, is looking for a win.
Group of seniors sitting with red shirts on.
The Rotary Manor team has their game faces on before the gold medal game.
Winning team shows off medals
It paid off! Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek won gold, Bulkley Lodge in Smithers won silver, and Stuart Nechako Manor in Vanderhoof won bronze.

Residents of all levels of ability were able to participate in the tournament. Congratulations to all who participated in Northern Health’s first-ever virtual curling competition! Staff say it didn’t come without a few hiccups, but they look forward to holding multi-site virtual events again in the future.