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Attending Brier dream come true for La Scie mother and son who share special curling bond

This group from La Scie, from left, Madge Toms, Sheila Clance, Todd Clance, Sheila Toms, and Barbara Tibbo are heading to St. John’s to watch the Brier.
This group from La Scie, from left, Madge Toms, Sheila Clance, Todd Clance, Sheila Toms, and Barbara Tibbo are heading to St. John’s to watch the Brier.

LA SCIE, N.L. - It is special when a mother and son find something together they share a passion for.

For Sheila and Todd Clance of La Scie that bond is watching curling.

There are many late nights and early mornings in front of the television, as Newfoundland and Labrador fans of any sport can attest to, watching the final daily draws of tournaments held across the country and world.

“Some nights, Todd and I have stayed up until two or three o’clock in the morning, if it was a late game coming on,” Sheila said. “We don’t miss anything when it comes to curling. It doesn’t matter if it is the Brier or the Scotties or just a game.”

For Sheila and Todd Clance of La Scie that bond is watching curling.

There are many late nights and early mornings in front of the television, as Newfoundland and Labrador fans of any sport can attest to, watching the final daily draws of tournaments held across the country and world.

“Some nights, Todd and I have stayed up until two or three o’clock in the morning, if it was a late game coming on,” Sheila said. “We don’t miss anything when it comes to curling. It doesn’t matter if it is the Brier or the Scotties or just a game.”

Brad Gushue, shown here at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa, will be a fan favourite at this year's Brier in his home province.

Todd is a 42-year-old Special Olympian who enjoys bowling and bocce. He has travelled from his hometown on the Baie Verte Peninsula to places like Baie Verte and Clarenville to participate in those sports. He tried curling once, says Sheila, but it didn’t quite take. However, he is right at home with his eyes glued to the television during curling competitions.

His favourite curling team? None other than Newfoundland and Labrador’s own Team Gushue.

“Brad all the way,” Todd said from his home in La Scie earlier this week.

The Clances — usually joined by husband and father Don — are big curling fans.

“To me, it is the best sport,” Sheila said.

She also doesn’t curl, having only tried it for a short time in La Scie years ago.

“I am quite happy to sit back and watch,” she said.

Sheila says she swore, if the Brier was ever hosted in this province, she would make sure Todd would be there to watch it live. She says they are not big into travel or attending special events, but watching the Brier live in her home province was too special to pass up.

“I have had my tickets ever since last fall,” she said. “I have had my hotel room booked since last fall. It means a lot to Todd and I, but it is mostly for Todd. He is so so excited.”

A trio of family friends — Madge Toms, Sheila Toms and Barbara Tibbo — will join them as they leave for St. John’s Sunday morning. Unfortunately Don has to work and is unable to attend.

Todd has a banner he will showcase at the competition. It states, “Go Team Gushue Go,” and “Todd’s Team.” It features a pair of curling stones, the house rings, and a Newfoundland and Labrador emblem.

He is hoping to get a chance to meet Brad Gushue and the team during the tournament. He would also like to meet curling legend Russ Howard, who also has close ties to Team Gushue and Newfoundland and Labrador. Gushue and Howard, of course, teamed up to win Olympic Gold in 2006.

“You never know, he might get on television,” Sheila said of her son.

Gushue is hoping to capture that elusive Brier title, and this group of fans is hoping to get to see that happen in person.

“We are going to cheer Brad on, and hopefully he is going to win,” Sheila said.

“Brad all the way” indeed.

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