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November 23, 2023

Meet Team Inglis: The Backstory on Second Calissa Daly


How did you first get introduced to curling?

I was four years old when my brother had a sudden onset heart attack. He was only eight years old at the time. This came as a huge shock to my whole family, completely and abruptly flipping our lives upside down. Soon after this incident he was diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD). ARVD is a rare cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle of the right ventricle (RV) is replaced by fat and/or fibrous tissue. Once my brother was diagnosed, they began testing my whole family, including my sister and I. After several tests and months of waiting, my sister and I were also diagnosed with ARVD.

This diagnosis changed a lot for us, at the time, my parents had entered us into soccer, hockey, and triathlons. We were highly competitive children, and loved any and all sports: however; ARVD limits people’s ability to participate in most sports, let alone compete in any physically demanding sports. My parents then searched for a sport that was more low impact with less of a cardiac strain. When they settled on curling they signed my older brother and sister up at the Cumberland Curling Club in Ottawa. At the time I was too young to step on the ice so I sat behind the glass most Sunday mornings and watched, impatiently awaiting for my time to come, at the end of every Sunday morning practice, the coach brought me on the ice to practice slides, this was my reward for staying so attentive during the practice. Thankfully, at only five years old, I had earned my way onto the ice for learn to curl.


Was there someone or something that was a key motivating factor for you to curl and to aspire to play at a high level?

Although my parents weren’t competitive curlers themselves I believe they played a key role in motivating me to curl and aspire to play at a high level. Curling was a gift to my family, it brought us hope after a stressful period in our lives. Every time I step on the ice I am reminded of my family and the support they have shown me during my curling career.



What would you tell someone aspiring to be a high level curler to do to develop the skills and mindset needed to be able to compete and play at the highest levels of the game?

I would tell them to always ensure that you are enjoying what you are doing and who you are playing with. Curling is a four person sport and relies heavily on communication and personal relationships. I feel extremely lucky to be playing alongside 3 amazing women who I consider to be my dear friends. Playing with your friends means that when you step out onto the ice you aren’t just competing for yourself, you are competing for your teammates and friends. I think there is also a lot of time and effort that is put into being a high level player but overall having fun and enjoying yourself is the intangible part of curling that cannot be manufactured.


What do you enjoy most about the game of curling?

The people you meet, whether it be the volunteers, your competitors or fans. I also enjoy the competitive environment. 



If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 10 year old self?

Believe in your greatness!


Do you have a favourite memory that stands out in your curling career to date?

Qualifying for my first Junior Nationals. This had always been a goal of mine and with the busy-ness of university I thought that maybe I wouldn’t be able to achieve this, but with a lot of hard work and all nighters I was able to accomplish alongside my amazing teammates. This national was very special as well because it is where I met my now partner, and my best friend, and now teammate, Kira.



What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the game of curling?

Be patient with yourself as curling can be quite a learning curve, and join a league where you can play with some of your friends. More than anything curling is meant to be fun so if you can play with people you get along with that is even better!


What one suggestion/recommendation would you make to increase what Canadians know about high-level competitive curling and the elite players who compete to be the best in the game? How do you see this making a difference?

Diversify curling’s overall marketing strategy and highlight individual players from different backgrounds and skill levels. This would demonstrate how curling is a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, but also demonstrate the skillset and the professionalism of elite players.





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