Dal postdoc primed for curling's Brier

Jordan Pinder, part of Team Nova Scotia

- March 1, 2012

Jordan Pinder (second from right) and his team celebrating this provincial championship in February. (Helen Radford photo)
Jordan Pinder (second from right) and his team celebrating this provincial championship in February. (Helen Radford photo)

If you think you’ve got a big week ahead of you, curler Jordan Pinder might have you beat.

The Dalhousie postdoctoral fellow will be throwing third stone for Team Nova Scotia at the Tim Hortons Brier, which kicks off in Saskatoon on Saturday. Dr. Pinder is flying out today (Thursday) with his team, led by skip Jamie Murphy.

Their first draw is against the team from the Northwest Territories and the Yukon on Saturday afternoon.

“We still haven’t gotten our team uniforms yet, but I expect that’s when it will really hit home,” says Dr. Pinder, who spoke to Dal News Wednesday before packing up for Saskatoon. “It’s a great feeling already, though.”

Brier rookies

Dr. Pinder’s team earned the coveted right to represent Nova Scotia by winning the provincial championships early in February. The team has only been together for three seasons (and its third, Mike Bardsley, is new this year) but with some extra training and bonspiel play to get their skills up, they pulled off the victory against tough provincial competition.

“We're all Brier rookies, and this is what we’ve been working towards for the past couple years,” says Dr. Pinder. “We definitely represent Nova Scotia with a lot of pride, and know that there’s a long legacy of great curlers from this province whose footsteps we’re following in.”

After completing both his undergrad and PhD in biochemistry at Dalhousie—he defended his thesis this fall, and will graduate in May—he’s now doing postdoctoral work in the Department of Pathology, exploring how PML bodies in the cell nucleus relate to DNA repair and cancer treatment.

And yet, he still finds time to practice at his home rink, C.F.B. Halifax, six times a week – not to mention compete in seven or eight bonspiels each season.

“Especially as a newer team, it’s really all about hard work, putting in the hours,” he says. “There’s no secret formula, but chemistry does make a big difference”

A lifetime at the rink

He’s been curling for 14 years, ever since his father got him started in the sport in his hometown of Miramichi, N.B. He adds that one of the reasons he loves curling is that it’s something he’ll get to do his whole life.

As for his team’s chances this weekend, he’s realistic, but also optimistic.

“The only thing you can control is how well you play. If we play our best, we think we have a shot at the playoffs. But we’re not idealistic either – we’re against a lot of teams with Brier experience, but we’re prepared to play our best.”

Team Nova Scotia is not the only Brier team with a strong Dalhousie connection: Industrial Engineering student Adam Casey is the second for Team Newfoundland, led by Olympic gold medalist Brad Gushue. Mr. Casey has been proctoring his midterms and quizzes at Memorial University to allow him to continue to practice with his team.

“Between curling games I’ll have the books out, trying to stay on top of things as best as I can,” he told The Prince Edward Island Guardian this fall. (Mr. Casey is originally from Summerside.)

The Tim Hortons Brier takes place from March 3-11. Draws will be televised on TSN.


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