Clear to see curling in the blood of city man

Dave Kearsey
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Reg Barry is the coach for the Newfoundland and Labrador entry in the 2014 Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK  Reg Barry couldn’t pass on an opportunity to help somebody else enjoy the game of curling like he does.

Barry, a Corner Brook native, is the coach for the Newfoundland and Labrador entry in the 2014 Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship, Feb. 3-9 at the Ottawa Curling Club in the nation’s capital. It is Barry’s fifth straight year bringing a team to the national event held annually in Ottawa and he has a bronze medal on his resume from an impressive showing at the national tournament three years ago.

Taking on the role seemed to be a pretty comfortable fit for Barry, who shares his passion for curling with his wife Maureen Murphy, who will actually play the role of guide for the team this year in place of Selwyn Warren.  

Also a Corner Brook native, Warren still helps the east coast members of the team throw stones in preparation of the eight-team tournament featuring teams from coast to coast.

Terry Gardner of Corner Brook, who plays second/sweeper with the team, is the lone curler from the west coast wearing the provincial colours in Ottawa.

Barry spent 29 years working in Alberta before deciding to return to his home province to enjoy retirement six years ago.

He moved to Conception Bay South upon his return and continued his curling pursuits at the Re/Max Centre until pulling up stakes a year ago to move home to the city.

While throwing stones in a morning social league at the Re/Max Centre the first year he moved back home Barry happened to notice there were a couple of people with vision impairment throwing a few stones with Selwyn Warren and he wondered what it was all about.

His curiosity would eventually get the best of him as he immediately took an interest in getting involved.

He became the coach of the team.

The team had a lot of close games last year, but didn’t pull out a victory. Barry is looking forward to another venture and expects the team to win its share of games.

According to Barry, the team’s record one year ago had a lot to do with the team losing skip Craig Turner of Grand Falls-Windsor for the nationals.

Turner, he said, had decided he needed to take a break from the sport.

“He was a very good skip and actually the first year I took them to the nationals they won the bronze and it was the first time they won a game,” he said.

Maurice Colbert, a St. John’s native, is the skip for this year’s squad, which also includes third Donald Connolly, lead William Royle and second/sweeper Deanna O’Reilly.

“The current skip we have his vision has improved a tiny bit, which could help us so I’m expecting we’ll probably do 50-50 this year,” he said.

Barry said the curling can be very competitive and interesting, and certainly these curlers want to do their best.

But, Barry is quick to point out that the tournament provides the curlers with a great social setting so it’s a friendly atmosphere with the number of laughs the real scoreboard.

“You have teams from all over Canada and it’s just like a reunion when they get in Ottawa,” he said.

Organizations: Ottawa Curling Club, Max Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Ottawa, Newfoundland and Labrador Alberta Canada

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