Andrews rink goes international

Local curlers hit World Curling Tour, aim to compete in Tournament of Hearts

The Andrews rink is competing in World Curling Tour events this season

The Andrews rink is competing in World Curling Tour events this season

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Invermere’s World Curling Tour team skip Jill Andrews found that there wasn’t much to do in the winter in her home province.

“(Curling) was pretty much just a second thing to do in the winter,” Andrews said. “My dad actually taught me how to curl on our kitchen floor.”

Some 15 years later, Andrews has embraced the sport whole-heartedly, and is curling on an international level.

This season — which began in September and runs until March — has seen Andrews and her crew compete against international teams such as Team Korea and Team Russia, and has seen them beat teams such as Team Japan.

“Its been awesome to find out that we can compete at this level,” Andrews said. “It’s kind of humbling to be able to go out there and know we can compete.”

The squad’s goal for the season is to eventually become team British Columbia, and represent the province at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

After curling together competitively last season, the team felt that it was, “now or never,” despite the fact that all the team members are relatively young in the world of curling. Andrews says she loves the sport because it has both physical and strategic aspects, and likens it to, “a life-sized game of chess.”

“I also just love meeting all the different curlers,” Andrews said. “It’s not always super competitive, it can be quite social as well.”

While the goal to become team B.C. is ambitious by itself, the foursome doesn’t want to stop there, as the Olympics are their ultimate goal. Playing on the World Curling Tour allows the team to accumulate points leading to an Olympic Trial berth.

This upcoming weekend the team will compete in Creston in one of three qualifiers for the Scotties B.C. Women’s Curling Championships in North Vancouver.  If the team fails to qualify in Creston, there is a playdown in Kamloops from December 2 to 5.