TRURO - Graham Breckon's first national men's curling championship is sure to be an eye-opening experience.
"It's going to be really exciting to play in front of 14,000 people," said Breckon, who will throw second stones for Paul Flemming's Nova Scotia rink at the Tim Hortons Brier, which begins Saturday at Edmonton's Rexall Place. "I've played in an arena before, but not with that magnitude of people, and I'm doing it with a great group of guys ... and playing against that talent is pretty exciting, too."
Breckon, a 33-year-old Truro native who lives in New Ross, Lunenburg County, will share the ice next week with Canadian curling heavyweights, such as Alberta's Kevin Martin, Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton and defending champion Glenn Howard of Ontario.
He understands his foursome will have its hands full, and is content to take the one-game-at-a-time approach at the 12-team round-robin tournament.
"Try and focus on your own sheet," he said. "It's gonna be tough, but that's our goal - to focus on our sheet only and worry about what's in front of us."
Breckon learned the game at Truro Curling Club as a young player. He played at the provincial junior level in Truro before winning the Nova Scotia title in 2000 while skipping his own team out of Chester in his final year of junior eligibility.
Three weeks ago Breckon returned to the Hubtown with Flemming, third Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc and lead Kelly Mittelstadt to win the provincial Tankard and advance to the Brier.
He said the foursome plans on making the most of its opportunity to compete on a national stage.
"You've got to try and enjoy every moment because you never know when it's going to happen again."
Nova Scotia opens on Saturday against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland.
Name: Graham Breckon
Works for: Aviva Canada in Dartmouth.
Resides: New Ross, Lunenburg Co.
Attending: Tim Hortons Brier March 2 to 10 in Edmonton with skip Paul Flemming, third Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc and lead Kelly Mittelstadt.
Family: Wife - Hilary.