Top curlers at Canadian trials in Saskatoon hope to inspire others to try the sport

Prime curlers at Canadian trials in Saskatoon hope to encourage others to attempt the game

Jennifer Jones hopes to encourage the subsequent era of curlers.

The 2014 Olympic gold medallist is at present competing along with her rink on the Canadian curling trials in Saskatoon, attempting to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Video games.

Getting extra youngsters into curling is a aim as vital as profitable an Olympic medal, the Manitoba roller stated.

“I bear in mind going to the Scotties [tournament] in Brandon after I was youthful and simply considering, wow, I simply hope in the future I can play in considered one of these occasions,” stated Jones.

“Right here we’re, a number of Scotties later.”

Jones stated she loves seeing younger individuals come out to the curling trials.

“There is a youth bonspiel right here, so that you’re seeing plenty of younger groups,” stated Jones. “If we had any half in any participant taking part in this sport, it makes all of it worthwhile.”

With the lads’s and girls’s playoff video games occurring Saturday and Sunday, Jones will likely be again on the ice this weekend.

She’ll face the winner of a Saturday afternoon tiebreaker in Saturday night’s semifinal.

Curling must be extra welcoming: Hodgson

For Métis roller Colin Hodgson, the aim isn’t solely to encourage extra younger individuals to get into the game, but additionally to see extra numerous illustration.

On the opening ceremony of the curling trials final week, the Saskatoon Tribal Council led a grand entry at SaskTel Centre, formally welcoming the 18 groups to the competitors.

“I used to be very proud and grateful for the chance to be part of it and obtain the star blanket,” stated Hodgson, who curls with Mike McEwen’s Manitoba crew.

“That is a second I will without end bear in mind and one thing our sport dearly wanted.”

He additionally notes “there are different Métis curlers within the occasion, there are different Indigenous curlers within the occasion” in Saskatoon.

“That is one thing that I hardly knew.”

Hodgson can be the co-owner of an attire enterprise referred to as Dynasty Curling, which teamed up with a two-spirit Ojibway artist to design Canada’s newest curling jerseys.

No matter their background, he has some recommendation for anybody thinking about getting concerned in curling.

“Make it what you need it to be,” he stated. “You do not have to play curling within the conventional manner.”

Colin Hodgson from Manitoba’s Workforce McEwen on the 2021 Canadian curling trials in Saskatoon. (Peter Mills/CBC)

Winnipeg, for instance, has a craft beer league, Hodgson stated.

Doubles can be an excellent sport, or taking part in with three individuals, he stated.

Typically, although, curling must change into extra inclusive, stated the Workforce McEwen lead.

“Let’s change it up and have enjoyable.… We have to get extra worldwide and be extra welcoming, no doubt.”

Carry a good friend when studying, says Gushue

Brad Gushue, a 2006 Olympic gold medallist, encourages anyone who needs to start out curling to exit with a good friend and provides it a attempt.

“I feel it is simpler whenever you acquired somebody with you that you realize,” stated the skip from Newfoundland and Labrador.

“You are going to make pals. However upon getting somebody there, it provides you slightly little bit of a consolation stage.”

‘First time you see a shot that you just make completely, you get hooked,’ says Brad Gushue, a 2006 Olympic gold medallist. (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press)

When he began out, Gushue had a buddy who started the game with him. Even adults ought to deliver somebody alongside when attempting out curling.

Studying to remain in your toes whereas taking part in is likely one of the hardest issues at first, stated Gushue.

“I’d simply go on the market and revel in it,” he stated. “First time you see a shot that you just make completely, you get hooked.”

The lads’s semifinal is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. CT, with Kevin Koe going through Brad Jacobs. Gushue’s rink will tackle the winner in Sunday’s remaining.

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