Today, September 16, marks the 100th birthday of a valued member of the Vancouver Curling Club, Lola Holmes. With curling having played a significant role in her life over the last 20 years, Lola embodies the concept of curling being a Sport for Life.
Lola first curled for a short period of time at the age of 25 while working as a nurse in Sudbury, Ontario. After retiring from nursing, she moved to Vancouver to help with a Newcomers Club.
“I thought, I was just about 80, I need something different,” Lola said of when she took up curling for a second time a few years after moving to Vancouver. Determined to return to the sport, Lola first joined a novice group.
About a year into her return to curling, Lola was approached by two women at the Vancouver Curling Club and asked to join a seniors group. As a still fairly new curler she was hesitant to join, but was quickly welcomed in to the group, which she has curled with on Mondays and Thursdays for the last 19 years.
Placing importance on staying active and involved in a community, Lola had Vancouver Curling Club Ice Shed Manager Norm Scott teach her how to curl with a stick after experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome.
“My stick is named Peter,” she laughs, thrilled that using a stick has allowed her to keep curling. “I’ve always been active, I love my public health.”
Lola’s love for the sport and the people she has made connections with through Vancouver Curling Club is evident.
“Exercise and knowledge and sociability. Those are the things that I get from it,” she said. “It’s friendship-based, our club is wonderful. I would never hesitate to phone them and ask them if there was a favour I needed … They encourage you, they praise you. We all praise each other. It’s fun.”
“Lola inspires all those who curl around her through her invincible spirit and the friendship and fun she brings to her curling community each week,” said Vancouver Curling Club Manager Ann de la Hey. “Through her actions, Lola teaches us that you can adopt the game at any point in your life and strive to be a lifelong curler.”
Happy Birthday Lola!