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Nancy Cameron plays Abig volunteer role in the Scotties on PEI

Difference Engines
by Nina Linton

Nancy CameronFor every rock that will be cast down the ice at this year’s national women’s curling championship, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Charlottetown resident Nancy Cameron will have invested countless hours in the event’s success.

An elite level curler who in past has competed in eight Scotties tournaments, Cameron decided that when her hometown was announced as the 2011 venue, she would extend her performance off the ice and into one of the many volunteer positions.

“I have been up at the curling club probably since I was a year old. It has been a huge part of my life. I’ve competed in provincials, juniors, ladies and mixed curling over the past number of years,” says Cameron. Her personal involvement with the winter sport goes back to her father Doug Cameron, one of the most successful curlers in Prince Edward Island history.

“I started to curl when I was 12 years old, my Dad got me into the sport. I started in grade seven and I have been doing it pretty well every year since,” reveals Cameron of her cool past time.

“I think that I really wanted to be a volunteer because it has given me so much of my life and I wanted to put a little bit back into it.”

One of three pro bono directors of the ‘Painting the Town’ committee, she is in charge of getting the word out about the upcoming bonspiel, increasing public awareness through signage and public promotion.

With approximately 25 volunteers under her lead, Cameron has been busy since April 2010 making appearances at many local events including the 2010 Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

“We were there with our Scotties volunteer shirts on and we were passing out information,” she comments.

Her tenure as volunteer wraps up as the event kicks off mid-February, when Prince Edward Island is set to welcome 60 of Canada’s top women curlers along with their coaches and families to a tournament that boasts 21 draws spread over nine days.

So used to seeing what some refer to as “Canada’s other winter sport” after hockey, from the other side of the curling sheet, Cameron says it has been an eye opening experience to be involved behind the scenes.

“When we go to these events everything is done for you so all you focus on when you get there is curling and you don’t realize the time that has gone into organizing this event—everything from the decorations to the media.”

Working alongside a host of other keen and devoted volunteers during this, the 30th anniversary year of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, has been an exciting and remarkable enterprise for Cameron who has continued to train for competition in the event while working to promote it.

“There are quite a few competitive curlers that are volunteering because it is something we as curlers can do before the Scotties starts and putting a little bit back into it,” she says, adding “We are just hoping that the seats are filled and the curlers have a great time while they are here, and we know that will happen.”

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