Fredericton curlers attempt Guinness world record for mental health

November 19, 2021
Fredericton curlers attempt Guinness world record for mental health
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A group of Fredericton curlers is attempting to break the Guinness world record for longest curling game to raise money for mental health services for youth in the city. 

The Capital Winter Club began the challenge Monday.

The Guinness record held by curlers from Ontario currently stands at just over 105 hours and the Fredericton group’s goal is to make it to 120 hours. They also want to raise $1,000 each hour, or  $120,000 total, said the club’s manager Jaime Watson. 

“A couple of our members were out curling and thought, ‘What better way to celebrate [the club’s] 60th year anniversary, than to attempt to beat the Guinness world record and raise a bunch of money for mental health in the process,'”  Watson said. 

Steven Burns was one of two curlers who came up with the idea to attempt a world record in order to raise money for youth mental health. (Submitted by Jaime Watson)

The initiative had raised more than $52,000 in donations after just six hours of play. Watson said that includes donations from local businesses who contributed throughout the year it took to plan it. 

“Since it’s day one, we’re pretty happy about that,” she said. 

Watson said the money will be distributed to high schools in Fredericton to create sensory rooms that help reduce anxiety and to the Family Enrichment and Counselling Service. 

She said the funding will be divided between each recipient “according to need.” 

Steven Burns is one of the 10 curlers involved. He said the event began around 9 a.m. Monday after an opening ceremony. 

The Fredericton curlers will aim to play for a continuous 120 hours. (Submitted by Jaime Watson)

“I feel pretty good. We know we have a long week ahead of us so it’s just about pacing ourselves and trying to keep everybody with a positive mindset,” Burns told CBC’s Shift just seven hours into the game. 

Burns said the game is played by two teams of five players, with four players on the ice at all times.  

“You curl for eight hours and then you sleep for two hours and we’re going to continuously do that for 120 hours,” he said. 

Players also get a five-minute break every hour. 

Burns said players aren’t allowed to leave the curling club for the duration of the game. There are two beds in the club where players will sleep. 

The Capital Winter Club curlers began their efforts to break the Guinness Record Monday at 9 a.m. (Submitted by Jaime Watson)

Burns said he hopes this challenge will get people in the community excited and generate a lot of donations toward mental health services for youth. 

“I’ve seen it with my own children as far as youth mental health, kids go through struggles,” he said. 

“It’s important that there’s enough help out there for young people and that’s one area where our province — a lot of provinces — are lacking.”

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