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A woman crouches looking at a curling stone.

RCMP officer balances curling and policing career

Cst. Stephanie Guzzwell balances her long-time passion for curling with her career as a police officer. Credit: Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

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RCMP officers have many talents. For Cst. Stephanie Guzzwell, curling is one of them.

Guzzwell recently curled for Team Newfoundland and Labrador in the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canada's top level women's curling event.

After joining the RCMP in 2017, Guzzwell was stationed in Nova Scotia, far away from her team in Newfoundland.

But that didn't stop her from heading to the hacks and throwing stones.

While her team practised in Newfoundland, Guzzwell used her days off to hone her skills. She joined her team for the occasional bonspiel and the provincial Scotties tournament in January.

Guzzwell says her police experience is an asset on the ice.

While the pressures of police work and curling are different, she was able to quell her nerves during the tournament.

"You need to keep your emotions in check for police work and that relates to curling or any sport," she says.

The conflict-resolution skills necessary for policing helps decision-making in the team sport.

"When you're curling and you're on the ice for three hours, there's a lot of discussion and you have to be mindful of everyone on the team," she says.

As a Newfoundland curler living in Nova Scotia, Guzzwell felt like she had two provinces behind her, with colleauges and family from each sending her letters of encouragement.

She says the response has been heartwarming.

"It's important to have a life outside your career and its rewarding to have support from all levels from the detachment to the province," she says.

After 25 years of curling, Guzzwell is no stranger to competition.

She played in a handful of Canadian junior championships and, in 2007, her team won silver at the World Junior Curling Championship in Eveleth, Minn. She curled with Memorial University's team in 2008 and 2009 and for Team Newfoundland and Labrador in the 2011 Scotties.

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