Learn From The Best - Curling Day In Canada

I grew up in Fort McMurray Alberta, which as a young curler meant lots of travel to get a chance to compete at any level (other than league play). I started curling when I was when I was 9 in 2012 and just a few months later Fort Mac held the 2013 Junior Nationals. I was really new to the sport so this was my first real exposure to the high level game play. I was in awe to say the least of the “professional” curlers in their provincial jackets. Through the curling clubs junior program I was given the opportunity to be a flag bearer for team Northern Ontario. They also let us mingle with the athletes and this was when I fell in love with the sport, I loved how generous and kind everyone was, even at the high level, they showed me just how much this sport is about having fun and being sportsmanlike.

This was the year that Matt Dunstone and Corryn Brown’s rinks won their respective titles, which was really cool because my parents had grown up in Kamloops (Team Brown’s home town) so it gave that extra level of hope that I could one day too do that.

I started curling competitively right away that year, playing in u18 provincial qualifiers and other events every year. Even though we would go out there and lose 14-0, it never dimmed my love for the game, I knew that when I got older it would turn around. And it did, never quite to that level, but we started making it to provincials, and then covid kinda dampened our flow.

After graduating high school in 2021 I chose to attend Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC (the same university my parents went to). The summer before I moved I managed to get onto a junior team so spent the summer training and ended up playing in 4 provincial events that season.

This last season I played in 2 provincials and came short of both titles. Being my last junior year this hit a bit harder as it meant I wouldn’t get to be in the shoes of those who inspired my love for the sport. But it is my love for the sport that keeps my chin up and ready for the challenge of men’s curling.

However, since moving to Kamloops I have gotten the opportunity to meet again the Brown rink and Kamloops resident Matt Dunstone. Seeing them both now at such high competitive levels is still so inspirational and I got the opportunity to play with Matt Dunstone in the Kamloops Crown of Curling where he filled in at second and helped my team reach the playoffs, knocking out some tough competitors.

Throughout my time on the BC Junior Tour I was voted the male sportsmanship award 3 times by my peers, for which I am so grateful. Sportsmanship is such an important part of the game to me and something I learnt from watching the juniors in Fort McMurray in 2013 and throughout my years competing.

A good shot is a good shot, even if it was the other team that made it. Win or lose, I love the sport.

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