The 46-year-old from London, Ont., who sustained a spinal cord injury in a 2007 helicopter crash that resulted in quadriplegia, was additionally an alternate on the Canadian group that gained gold in 2014.
Ideson spoke at Curling Canada’s “Altering The Face of Curling” symposium earlier this 12 months about how only a few weeks after claiming bronze in Beijing, he virtually didn’t watch his daughter compete within the Canadian under-18 championships due to the membership’s eight steps as much as the viewing space within the lounge and eight steps right down to the ice.
A few moveable ramps acquired him in a facet door to observe his daughter from ice degree, however he says it felt like an ordeal.
“Positive, there may be folks round keen to assist, which is nice, however nobody desires to depend on assist to do all these items,” Ideson mentioned.
“You wish to be as unbiased as doable to realize entry to a constructing and acquire entry to the ice.”
New curling membership builds in communities equivalent to Chilliwack, B.C., Leduc, Alta., and Chelsea, Que., are accessible, however many Canadian golf equipment have been constructed within the final century with out wheelchairs or different mobility aids in thoughts.
The primary world wheelchair curling championship was in 2002. The game made its Paralympic debut in 2006.
Ideson is competing in Canada’s first wheelchair blended doubles match in Leduc till Sunday.
“I believe general there’s been some motion to make curling golf equipment extra accessible in Canada,” Ideson mentioned. “There’s only a lengthy option to go but.
“Being a part of the nationwide program, we’ve seen a number of curling golf equipment coast to coast. The bulk we go to are accessible golf equipment or golf equipment who’ve accomplished the minimal to make the membership accessible so we are able to acquire entry to the entrance door and get onto the ice.
“We wheelchair curlers perceive the scenario, how the buildings are previous and it prices a lot cash to make these modifications, however it’s such a profit to the membership and a profit to those who use chairs who in any other case can’t acquire entry to a social exercise or sport like that.
“It’s had such a huge effect on my life with the ability to play.”
B.C.’s Oliver Curling Membership is taking up an accessibility renovation at Eastlink Curling Centre, which opened in 1970, to put in an elevator and convert second-floor washrooms for wheelchair accessibility.
“The best way our constructing is laid out, we definitely have ramps on the entrance the place you will get a wheelchair by means of the doorways and we’ve had ramps constructed to get out on the ice,” membership vice-president Brad Dufour mentioned.
“Our eating facility, or lounge, is on the second ground. The bottom ground is accessible, not actual comfortably, however it works. Washrooms are wheelchair accessible, however upstairs they don’t seem to be. And the one entry is through stairs.”
The membership efficiently utilized for a federal grant of $100,000 from the Enabling Accessibility Fund, however the challenge will value between $350,000 and $400,000, Dufour mentioned.
“We’re a bit shell-shocked by the prices,” he admitted. “We have to elevate extra funds. The fundraising committees are being struck. We’re taking a look at different grants that may be obtainable and persevering with to maneuver ahead.”
If a curling membership rents out its lounge or eating room for weddings, events or company occasions to earn a living, accessibility is an asset, Dufour mentioned.
Ease of entry and motion all through all the constructing retains folks coming to it, he added.
“There’s a number of older curlers. They may not want elevator entry in the present day, however two years down the street, they’d be more than pleased to have it,” Dufour mentioned.
“It nonetheless retains them within the recreation and retains them concerned. It’s an incredible factor for the neighborhood. It’s not simply the curling membership.”
Curling golf equipment owned and operated by municipalities have made extra headway on this space than shareholder-operated golf equipment due to provinces and territories mandating accessibility and making authorities grants obtainable.
“All the brand new golf equipment which were constructed within the final 20 years are totally accessible as a result of authorities guidelines say that you need to,” mentioned Danny Lamoureux, Curling Canada’s govt director of roller expertise and curling membership growth.
“In case you’re a member-owned membership, it’s thought of a personal enterprise despite the fact that it’s open to the general public, these guidelines don’t but apply to them. They are going to sometime. We’ll must make preparations and it’s going to be tough for a few of these golf equipment to take a look at a six-figure invoice.
“When it’s a brand new constructing, you don’t see prices and it’s once you do renovations the place it’s actually costly. Tips on how to make each curling membership in Canada totally accessible, it’s going to take a very long time.”
Lamoureux suggests golf equipment attain out to their native member of Parliament or provincial legislature to seek out out what federal or provincial cash is offered for an accessibility reno.
Curling Canada additionally provides a low-interest mortgage as much as $30,000 for infrastructure initiatives.
“That’s the large image and the small image is do as many little issues as you possibly can to enhance your accessibility even when it’s simply getting a ramp constructed to get within the door,” Lamoureux mentioned.
“Reconfigure your washrooms to get higher entry, even when it’s simply putting in handrails, and that works for an getting old inhabitants too.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Dec. 15, 2022.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press