Rolling Towards Inclusivity: Nova Scotia Stick Curling’s Accessibility Database Initiative

After returning from a Curling Canada conference, where wheelchair curlers identified gaps in accessibility information, the NS Stick Curling Association (NSSCA) developed an accessibility questionnaire for Nova Scotian curling facilities to help research various opportunities for improvement. The research was then used to build a database of accessibility information for organizations and the public to utilize. The research provides individuals with the ability to assess what facilities are accessible enough for their individuals needs while simultaneously providing data to clubs to inform facility upgrades. 

NSSCA’s goals through this initiative were to raise awareness of accessibility issues at curling clubs, provide the clubs with information for funding opportunities, and create a database available to all where they could obtain accurate written and video information on a particular curling club in Nova Scotia.  

“NSSCA’s Accessibility Audits have been an extremely useful tool in identifying & supporting clubs who are at a state of readiness to introduce Wheelchair Curling opportunities in their communities, in addition to providing education to clubs in what accessibility upgrades they need in order for their facilities to become accessible to all curler” said Zachary Dickson, Sport Nova Scotia’s Parasport Coordinator.  “The project has also started the conversation amongst other sports on how they could replicate the process for their facilities & sports.” 

Through partnerships with Nova Scotia Curling and Sport Nova Scotia, NSSCA connected with curling clubs across the province and received support with study design and project funding. Through this support, NSSCA conducted site visits and obtained the information and video footage needed for the database.  

“All parties involved have been very supportive in the project,” said Bruce Densmore, Chair of Nova Scotia Stick Curling. “Whether it was in planning, assisting with club access, accommodating timeframes for visits, or club representatives sharing their time and knowledge.”  

“NS Curling is happy to be a partner with the NSSCA and SNS on this groundbreaking accessibility study,” said Rob Belliveau, President, Nova Scotia Curling. “Working with the Stick Association to provide accurate information means anyone wanting to try Stick Curling in Nova Scotia – from Yarmouth to Amherst to Sydney – can find a curling facility with the services and programs they want and need.  There have been a lot of committed volunteers driving Stick Curling in Nova Scotia over the past 5 years; that is why Stick is the fastest growing stream of curling.  The results of this Study will also allow facilities to make informed business decisions regarding upgrades to their facilities.” 

NSSCA connected with thirty clubs across the province for the auditing process. Since then, several clubs have connected with NSSCA to use the information gathered to inform facility upgrades, to identify ways to make the facility more accessible or to help inform new and existing programming opportunities. Partners have utilized the information to assess the readiness of clubs for wheelchair curling equipment.  

“The information has been used to support wheelchair curling initiatives at clubs in Cape Breton, South Shore, and the Western Region,” said Densmore. “These clubs have started programming using the Sport Nova Scotia’s Parasport Program Loan.”  

NSSCA considers this initiative successful in addressing an informational gap for persons with mobility issues. Several clubs have initiated conversations surrounding viable accessibility options and have connected with Sport Nova Scotia’s Parasport Coordinator to explore funding options for accessibility upgrades to their facilities.  

NSSCA is hopeful that this initiative will help pave the way for other organizations as it is adaptable to other sports and facilities throughout the province. While access to the database isn’t yet public, the information is available through Nova Scotia Curl, Sport Nova Scotia’s Parasport Program, or the Nova Scotia Stick Curling Association. For clubs that want to explore parasport funding further, head to   

The Nova Scotia Stick Curling accessibility questionnaire initiative was made possible with the assistance of Sport Nova Scotia’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility grant. Check out our Sport Fund eligibility for more information about how Sport Nova Scotia can help support your community sport initiative. 

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