The opportunity to represent your community is something we all do in one form or another every time we leave it. When people ask where are you from, they begin to form an idea about your community after a very short conversation.
As athletes or artists, we have an added responsibility. We effectively (and sometimes literally) wear the name of our hometowns on our backs.
It is a real pleasure to say we’re from Invermere, when travelling with my senior ladies’ curling team. We spent last weekend in Nelson competing in the Regional Senior Ladies’ playdowns and played against teams from Sparwood, Trail and Castlegar.
Of course, curling is known as a ‘gentlemen’s’ game, the only sport I know of that both begins and ends with shaking your competitors’ hands. We start with a handshake and a ‘good curling’ or ‘have a good game’ wish and we end with the second handshake and either a ‘good luck in your next one’, ‘congratulations’ or ‘travel safe’ depending on the outcome of the game. And in many cases, both teams head upstairs and or somewhere where all eight players sit around a table and enjoy a beverage together. The conversation is generally about your local curling club and how many curlers you have registered, what’s your ice like and when’s your next bonspiel? You’ve now made a friend or two for life because you will meet this person again on your next outing. Next thing you know, you’re going to a competition where you know most of the participants and it’s like old home week.
I’m very excited to go to the provincial competition representing not just the Kootenay region but Invermere and this beautiful valley we call home as well. Last time I was there I was thrilled to be awarded the Lottie Hill Memorial Award for sportsmanship, something to be treasured, sometimes more importantly than the championship.
Marilyn Berry is publisher of The Valley Echo.