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Brazilians make their home on North Shore ice

Their country might be known for its soccer stars, but that’s not the sport that’s capturing the imagination of an increasing number of Brazilians in Vancouver.

Curling is starting to become a treasured past-time for more than a dozen ex-pats based in Vancouver.
The Brazilian Curling Club, as they have dubbed themselves, are currently based at the North Shore Winter Club, but they may be visiting a bonspiel near you.

14-Group-with-uniformThat’s because the 17 regular Brazilian curlers are determined to learn as much as they can about the sport and improve their game in a short span of time.

Raphael Monticello is one of the sport’s most passionate advocates.

The Vancouver-based Brazilian wants to see the sport grow – and has been busy helping to make that happen.

It was his research that led to setting up a meeting between Aline Lima Goncalves and Marcelo Cabral De Mello, who are the two halves of the Brazilian Mixed Doubles Team who headed to Dumfries, Scotland, for the Worlds earlier this month.

Aline lives in Yukon while Marcelo lives in Quebec, and it was through Raphael’s inquiry on an internet forum that they became acquainted.

Aline and Marcelo were able to meet and play together for the first time in Vancouver before heading out to Scotland for the championship.

And while Aline and Marcelo are considered Brazil’s top male and female curlers, there are a number of people waiting in the wings to earn the chance to play for Brazil.

Many of the Brazilians just learning the game are playing as often as they can – taking advantage of the North Shore Winter Club’s spring ice – to give themselves the practice they need to compete at the top levels. Before the closure of many clubs for the season, that saw them at bonspiels throughout the Lower Mainland.

The first Brazil Cup of Curling (Mixed Doubles) will take place in May.

This is a tournament with eight Brazilian doubles teams that have been training in the last months. Visit http://www.curlingcalendar.com/tournaments/820.

For more information about the Brazilian Curling Club in Vancouver, email Raphael at raphaelmonticello@hotmail.com or Isis Oliveira at isisoliveira@shaw.ca.

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