They may have just gotten back from nearly two weeks on the road, but Team Bain isn’t slowing down.
It’s been a busy November for the squad of four junior curlers, having taken south to Edmonton for a bonspiel in Sherwood Park before hitting the road to Morris, Man., just outside of Winnipeg, for three days of practise at the world-renowned Cargill Curling Centre. Then, the girls doubled back to Edmonton to take part in a second bonspiel in Lacombe before flying back home.
During the whole experience, the team won one game in Sherwood Park and two in Lacombe.
But no one’s hanging their brooms up just yet. The team was back on the lanes honing their techniques for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games trials in Yellowknife. As this is the last year of junior for both Tyanna Bain and Mataya Gillis, getting to the games would be a perfect way to top off the last few years.
“When we first started, Tyanna and I were right off the bat into a competitive league. We didn’t even start with practice, we just went right into trials right away,” said second Mataya Gillis. “Ever since then we’ve been competing.”
For third Pearl Gillis, who is in her third year of competitive curling, the game is tons of fun but she particularly likes the opportunities to travel it affords her and meeting new people. Skip Tyanna Bain, who along with Mataya Gillis is on her fourth year of competition, gets a much simpler rush out of the game.
“It’s fun and it gives us a lot of opportunities,” she said.
If the team makes all the qualifications it’s eyeing, it will be a busy spring for the girls. The New Holland U21 championships are due in Langley, B.C. Jan 18-26. The Arctic Winter Games go down in March in Whitehorse, and the Canadian National U18 championships in Sudbury, Ont. in April.
The heavy schedule is great for building curling technique, but Mataya Gillis notes she’s going to take the next year off so she can focus on her Grade 12 before taking another toss at the rocks.
“Grade 12 is hard enough, with this we practise five times a week,” she said, noting the team missed 46 school days just for curling. “It’s a lot of travel and too hard to focus on it. But when I go to post-secondary, I want to find a team to curl with. It’s so much fun.”
Not only are the girls making a name for themselves from coast to coast to coast, but they also are helping growing more talent at home. Twice a week, the girls trade off helping coach the younger players hone their craft. All four of the girls are certified curling coaches.
Pearl Gillis noted the competition was getting stronger across the North with more teams, so it was important to give new recruits as much training as possible.
“We have more teams this year, usually it’s one or two teams reversing,” she said. “There’s a lot more curlers. This a good thing, it means the curling community in the North is getting bigger, which is nice.
“Competitions will get a lot closer.”
All the girls expressed their thanks to Inuvik and the whole Beaufort Delta for cheering them on.
“The community supports us a lot. That’s how we travel, it’s awesome,” said Mataya Gillis. “It’s really awesome.”