With a skip, sweep, and a bump, four local ladies have set their sights on training to first become Team B.C. for curling, and eventually make it to the Olympics.
Team Andrews is composed of Skip, Jill Andrews; Third, Holly Jones; Second, Theresa Wood; and First, Stephanie Schroeder. The girls have all been curling since before they were teenagers, and have decided to take their experience to the ice to reach the most elite level of curling in Canada.
In order to compete at an Olympic level, Team Andrews must first receive an invite to the Olympic trials, which requires either winning Scotties Tournament of Hearts and become Team Canada, or accumulating enough points on the World Tour.
Skip Andrews said their team doesn’t expect to receive an invite to the Olympic trials immediately, but that their main goal is to gain experience as a team.
“Our aim this year is to make it to the provincials and learn how to cope with the stress when playing tough games,” she said.
The team’s most immediate goal is qualifying for the provincial championships by placing in the top two of a double knock-out bonspiel in Kamloops in two weeks. They also plan on attending two World Tour events. Team Andrews has already played against Team Russia at a World Tour event in Medicine Hat and Team Korea at a World Tour event in Kamloops.
To help them reach their goal, the four women train every day of the week at the Invermere Curling Club with their new coach, provincial coach Terry Bublitz, who has 25 years of experience and led Team B.C. to the Brier Cup in 2003.
“We pretty much live at the curling rink,” said Skip Andrews, laughing.
The ladies work out at least twice a week to maintain the intense training they executed this summer as part of Curl B.C.’s High Performance program.
While Ms. Jones grew up in Invermere and curled at the local rink as a youth, Skip Andrews and Ms. Schroeder moved to the valley from Saskatchewan, and Ms. Wood relocated from Ontario. The four women said they feel fortunate to have found each other.
“We’re a good compliment of people,” Ms. Schroeder said. “Our personalities mesh. We play well together and we’re driven, but we still have fun.”
Not everything the curling quartet have to do to reach their goal is fun and games: the ladies are responsible for raising all of their own funding.
The team must travel all over British Columbia and Alberta to a number of bonspiels, which can cost upwards of $800 each to enter.
Team Andrews thanked everyone who has helped them so far, and said they always welcome new sponsors or donations to help them on their way.
To help raise money for the team, Fitness 4 Life is offering two Body Blast classes by donation on December 1st and December 8th from 5:30-6 p.m. at Eileen Madson Primary School. All proceeds will be donated to Team Andrews to help them raise money for all their travels.
For more information about Team Andrews, contact Jill Andrews at 341-5662. For more information about Body Blast workouts by donation, contact Hayley Wilson at 342-0503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.