It's midday on a Monday at the Grimsby Curling Club and the rink is filled with senior women laughing and enjoying a recreational game of a classic Canadian sport.
But onlookers can hear some strong and serious instructions coming from the left rink.
That big voice is coming from the smallest of the Grimsby Day Ladies: 95-year-old Helen Lofthouse.
Even at her age, Lofthouse is still throwing rocks with impeccable skill and ease. She's the club's oldest member, playing recreationally twice a week and participating in as many tournaments as she can handle.
“It's good for my health and I like being with people,” she said of why she still curls.
Lofthouse, a nurse by trade, moved to Hamilton after the Second World War. She met her husband Robert, a doctor, in the navy. He set up a practice in Hamilton while she raised their four daughters.
Lofthouse is originally from the tiny town of Hamiota, Manitoba.
“About 500 people lived there at most, so you had to behave yourself,” she said.
There was a local curling club in Hamiota, but children weren't allowed to play, so Lofthouse would just watch. But curling didn't enter her family until her teens, when her mother took up the sport.
Lofthouse herself didn't begin curling until her mid-40s, after her family was getting older and her career was winding down.
She has played at curling clubs in Hamilton and Dundas.
“[Lofthouse] is a real good influence to curlers starting later in life,” said teammate Judy Polstra.
Back at the Grimsby rink, it's Lofthouse's turn to throw the rock. She just recently started using a support stick to throw, something her teammates decades younger have been relying on for years.
Lofthouse makes it look easy, but the 50 years of experience she has under her belt definitely help. She stares down the rock, giving pointed instructions to her sweepers.
The rock knocks four others out, a play that elicits cheers from fellow curlers. It's the best throw of the day. Her team is up 7-1.
“She's deadly with that stick,” said Bernadette Weeks, who was, unluckily, one of Lofthouse's opponents on this day.
Despite her age, Lofthouse is still a leader in the local curling scene. Up until seven years ago, she coached a team of blind curlers.
“They had quite a sense of humour,” she said, laughing.
The great-grandmother of three is cherished by her fellow Day Ladies. They help her get to and from the rink now that she has stopped driving.
“Everyone steps up to the plate,” said Polstra.
On this day, with Lofthouse as skip, her team gains three more points in no time. Soon, the score is a lopsided 10-1.
“She likes more challenge than we're giving her,” said Elaine Hughes, another opposing player.
Lofthouse is competitive, but she'll give her opponents some slack today.
“If they get one [point], I won't mind,” she said with a smirk.
Sure enough, they do. Final score: 10-2. Another good win for Lofthouse, but as she eyes her happy teammates, she knows she can't take all the credit.
“You can't do it all by yourself.”