Joe Rea started curling when he was 14 and played competitively for over 20 year. He discovered his love for coaching in the late 1980s. His entry into high-level national competition was in 1993 when he coached his provincial junior team to a bronze medal in the Canadian Junior Championships. He coached Team BC to a silver medal at his first Canadian Championship in 2004.
Rea coached the Canadian wheelchair curling team to the gold medal at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Sochi, Russia. Under his guidance, Canada’s high-performance wheelchair curlers also won gold at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Games and world championship gold in 2011 and 2009.
Rea has great technical aptitude, which has been a great asset in his professional career as an electrical/instrument team leader for a forest products company (Canfor Northwood Pulp) and as a curling coach where precision and tactics are a must to succeed. When not coaching, Rea loves to play golf, soccer, slow-pitch baseball and is an avid boater.
He was honored in 2014 with his sixth Petro-Canada Coaching Award. Wendy Morgan, team leader of the national wheelchair curling team, says, “Joe has taught with Curling BC, worked at youth camps in B.C., was involved in the first La Releve camp, and competed on the competitive circuit for 20 years. He has a lifetime involvement and love of the sport of curling on and off the ice.”
Coached Canadian wheelchair curling team to gold at 2009, 2011, 2013 World Championships and 2006, 2010, 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
FAMILY: Rea is married to Colleen and they have two daughters, one son, one grandson one granddaughter and three foster children. He loves to spend time with his family at the lake where all of the children have a great time.
GETTING IN TO THE SPORT: Rea first got involved in wheelchair curling in 2003. Two years later, he went to the world championships with Team Canada as the team leader. In 2006, Rea took the next and biggest step of his coaching career when he led the Team Canada squad to a gold medal at the Torino Paralympic Games.
ODDS AND ENDS: Over the past 15 years, Rea and his wife Colleen have provided a safe and loving home for 27 foster children. He and Colleen believe every child needs a break and through their generosity, kindness and caring attitude, there are many youth in their community who have benefitted from this incredible and compassionate couple.
A member of the Prince George Golf and Curling Club, Rea cites Elaine Dagg Jackson, Gerry Peckham and Jim Ursel as his coaching mentors.