By Tina Comeau
It’s not just at the Winter Olympics where people can get their fill of curling, there will be plenty of opportunity to do so in Yarmouth over the next few days as the Yarmouth Curling Club hosts the provincial Junior Under 15 Greenspiel Feb. 21-24.
There are nine female teams and nine male teams competing in the event. Among these is a Yarmouth boys’ team skipped by Logan Sweeney, with members Samuel Pitman, Nicholas Doucette and Tyler Doucette.
A Yarmouth girls’ team skipped by Jenna Bishara is also competing. Team members also include Mikaela Rhodenizer, Maria LeBlanc and Vanessa Stewart.
(Note: Event info and the weekend’s schedule and up-to-date results can be viewed on livecurling.com by clicking here.)
Both of the local teams competing this weekend had seen success during their seasons.
“We have a team of young fellas who have played in an adult league this year, and have done quite well,” says Aaron Sweeney. “They have played the best in their age group this year, but it’s at hard by times to grow when you (only) see competitions once a month.”
The team is made up of two 14 year olds, one 12 year old and an 11 year old, which means they have their work cut out for them.
“They are playing in an under 15 class,” says Sweeney. “However they are playing against teams of all 14 year olds who have played together for years.”
Sweeney says the girls’ team from Yarmouth that is competing in this weekend’s Greenspiel has improved over last season.
“The girls’ team has been to many events this year and has seen great strides from last year,” he says. “It is easy to pick out the improvements in each curler on that teams from last year. They are in line to have a great weekend here on their home ice.”
Another Yarmouth curler is skipping a team from the Bridgewater area this weekend.
“Sophia Rose, arguably the best junior curler in the club, has had to travel to keep up with her expectations,” explains Sweeney. “She has been selected as one of five girls to be in the ‘Podium Project,’ which has funding from the Canadian Curling Association.”
Sweeney notes the other four girls from the province selected for this project were all members of the Mary Fay rink, which just won bronze in the Canadian Juniors. Rose is younger than all of the members of that team.
“She is skipping a team of friends from the Bridgewater area, and will surely be one to keep an eye on as the curling takes place this weekend,” says Sweeney.
The Greenspiel is a provincial event run by the Nova Scotia Curling Association and is for boys and girls under age 15. Sweeney says this event being held in Yarmouth shows many of the area’s young curlers what it is like to compete in provincial events, and how other clubs operate their programs.
“This event will bring approximately 200 curlers and fans to the area for the weekend, where they will no doubt take in our hospitality and area charm,” says Sweeney.
The teams featuring Yarmouth players were all slated to start curling at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21.
Meanwhile, beyond this event there is more curling is on tap for next month.
“In two weeks we will be hosting the Provincial Mixed Championships where 12 teams will play a triple knockout event to a winner to represent the province at next year’s nationals,” Sweeney says. “There will be one Barrington and one Yarmouth team taking part in that event as well.”