The valley was well represented on the curling front this past week as an Invermere rink participated in the Tim Hortons B.C. Senior Women’s Curling Championship in Kelowna from February 15 to 19.
The rink of Marilyn Berry, Barbara Fassnidge, Sandra Quinn-Boyes, Cindy Stevenson and coach Glen Ortt took to the ice against the best senior women’s rinks in the province, some of which had previous experience on both national and international stages.
The team ended up with a record of three wins to four losses, coming out of the competition in fifth place overall. While the result means that the rink will not be moving on, both skip Berry and coach Ortt were pleased with the results.
“I think they far exceeded expectations,” Ortt said.
“There were some incredibly talented teams out there — there were teams that had previous national and world championship credentials, and our ladies played very well against them.”
“I think we played very well,” Berry added. “We missed a couple of shots and we can look back and wonder if we’d made that shot if the results would’ve been different, but we did really well and I think we’ve got something to be proud of, and something that we can build on.”
While Berry and Fassnidge had competed at a provincial level in the past, Quinn-Boyes and Stevenson were new to the big stage. However, any nerves were likely mitigated thanks to the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and friendship over the three day event, said Ortt.
“It’s truly a friendly competition,” Ortt said. “Getting to know the other players, they truly are friends, and it’s fun because there isn’t the stress levels you would think would be at that level of competition. Everyone is social, and I think some of the more experienced teams were happy to be mentors—they’re not afraid to explain things, or help out, it’s a very open type of competition.”
While this ends a fantastic run for the team, both the coach and players feel like this is a great step in the right direction.
“Curling is a game of consistency and experience, and you’re always getting better and working on that consistency element,” Ortt said.
“The more times you go to the provincial-level competitions, you learn how to play in those situations, and how to deal with pressure — it’s a long grinding week with seven games in three and a half days, and that takes both a physical and a mental toll, and you have to learn how to deal with that. That’s what they’ll continue to work on and possibly see bigger and better things in the future.”
“I think the team can now see that we’re not that far off,” Berry said. “It’s all the little things that add up that make a difference between a decent team and a good team—we’re a decent team, but it’s not as big as a gap as you think. I’d like to say thanks to all the people in the community that supported us and were cheering us on from afar.”
For full results, click here.