More and more champions are emerging from the Nanaimo Curling Centre. Local curlers were part of the senior women’s and master’s women’s B.C. championship teams in recent weeks.
At the end of the month, Lorraine Jeffries’ Port Alberni rink, including Nanaimo’s Zorka Smith and Eilene Mitton, will compete at the Canadian Masters Curling Championships in Coaldale, Alta.
The masters women won their B.C. title March 9 in Creston, with a 7-3 win over previously undefeated Carol McFadden of Royal City.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic,” said Smith. “Especially in the masters category, there’s not too many chances that are going to be available. So we’re greatly looking forward to being able to compete at the nationals.”
The four ladies – Jeffries, Smith, Mitton and Alberni’s Trudy Beskau – had known each other from the Island curling scene, and have been playing bonspiels together for a few years. This year, Smith and Mitton reached masters age and so the team decided to enter playdowns.
Winning her first B.C. jacket at this stage of her curling career is special, Smith said.
“It’s one of those coveted items and it’s pretty unbelievable, I think, to be able to wear one of those to represent the province,” she said.
Smith and Mitton compete for Longwood Brewery in Nanaimo’s Christensen Collision Cash League, which wrapped up play earlier this month. The high-calibre league has kept the team sharp, and the women will need to continue to be on top of their game at nationals.
“We’re going to run into some very good teams so you’ve got to be consistent and make your shots – make a lot more than you miss – to be able to prevail at that level…” Smith said. “Just maintain the foucus and the one-game-at-a-time, one-end-at-a-time attitude. It seems to get you further than getting in a dither about things.”
ICE CHIPS … Penny Shantz’s Parksville rink, with Nanaimo’s Debbie Pulak playing second, began play at the Canadian Seniors Curling Championships in Yellowknife, N.W.T. on Saturday.