A curling team playing out of Kelowna has punched their ticket to the Canada Winter Games in PEI later this month.
Team Rempel of the Kelowna Curling Club defeated team Wong at the BC Winter Games back in March of last year to earn the British Columbia jacket for team BC.
Now almost a year later, skip Hannah Rempel and her squad are getting set to don the blue, red, white and yellow colours of BC and are preparing for a shot at winning gold as the country’s top junior team in the women's division.
Castanet sat down with team third Lauren Cochrane to talk about the upcoming tournament.
“We didn’t have the greatest season, so we weren’t really going into the competition with the highest of expectations, but we really just wanted to give it our best shot and have fun like we always do, and we made it to the finals and ended up making an amazing shot to win the game,” explained Cochrane.
Cochrane says her skip made an incredible take out through a field of tight guards to win the game. It was a difficult shot, but one Cochrane was confident her skip could make, saying she prefers a takeout over a draw to the button.
Head Coach Wendy Cseke agrees her skip is a talented hitter, and that a heavier, cleaner and more responsible game will be a driving factor for their strategy out east. But more importantly, she tells Castanet the team plays best when they’re having fun.
“Well for sure! We worked hard, we want to do our best, but we are planning to have fun and enjoy the experience,” said Cseke.
“We have done extra training this year to prepare for the Canada Games, and to camps in the summer as well as recently. Last month in January we started to amp up our practices, we’re playing a couple times a week as well, and we’ve done some cash-spiels early in the season. We really try to put in the time because we want to represent BC as best we can.”
Cochrane says the team is very excited for what’s to come, but also pretty nervous ahead of their first national stage tournament.
“I am so excited and kind of nervous because we’re team BC for the year. When we won, it was so fast that we didn’t have much time to let it all sink in in the moment, but we kept thinking about it more after the game like, what just happened, we’re going across the country,” added Cochrane.
“Thinking about my teammates, I know we have high expectations of ourselves but we always do our best when we play our style and have fun. When we go out there with good intentions, and just want to play the game like we always do, that’s when we start making those really good shots.”
The Canada Winter Games are slated to take place in PEI from Feb. 18 until March 5, 2023.