Fredericton curlers beat Guinness world record, raise 160K for youth mental health
Curlers got back on the ice shortly after beating the record to complete a 120-hour game
A group of Fredericton curlers officially beat the Guinness world record for longest curling game Friday after more than four days — 105 hours — on the ice.
The Capital Winter Club began the challenge Monday, with the goal of playing for a total of 120 hours to raise money for youth mental health services in the city.
As of 8 p.m. Friday, the group had raised $160,874.
The money will be distributed to high schools in Fredericton to create sensory rooms that help reduce anxiety and to the Family Enrichment and Counselling Service.
Club manager Jaime Watson said conversations to arrange this event began after Lexi Daken, a Grade 10 student at Leo Hayes High School, died by suicide in February of this year.
"Her story was definitely one of the ones that started the conversation, and from there got the group of us talking about how many of us have children with mental health issues," said Watson.
"That inspired us to take this on."
Steve Burns, co-organizer of the event and one of 10 curlers who participated, said New Brunswick and surrounding provinces are lacking in terms of mental health services for youth and it's important that young people get the support they need.
The initial goal for the event was to consistently curl for 120 hours and raise $120,000. Anything over 105 hours would break the record.
"There's been a lot of support from the community, not just here but we've got donations from all over the world," said Burns.
At just after 6 p.m, the rink was filled with dozens of crowd members shaking cow bells and popping bottles of champagne, as the group passed the threshold for a world record.
The curlers took a short break to celebrate before getting back on the ice to reach the goal of a full 120-hour game.
Burns said the group went through some "ups and downs" throughout the week and barely slept, with each player only allowed two hours off every eight hours.
"We're just 10 people, and you can't get away from them," he said. "It's friends but when you get tired you get irritable."
Burns said the group kept each other going nonetheless, and will finish strong around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.