Summerland curler gets sportsmanship award

Bev Skinner wishes every curler could have the experience of playing at an event like the Canadian Masters Curling Championships.

Her team is back home in Summerland after representing B.C. in the games in Boucherville, Que.

Team member Wendy Archer won the 2012 Canadian Masters Sportsmanship Award. It was presented at the closing banquet after she was chosen by a secret ballot of all players in the tournament.

Other members of the team are RoseMarie Fenrich and Betty Raymond.

Team B.C. beat Nova Scotia and the Yukon, and played close games against five other provinces.

“We were very proud of our curling as a group,” said Skinner.

“The two wins and seven losses wasn’t really indicative of the actual play. We were very competitive in every game and many games came down to the last shot to determine win or loss. In seven of the nine games that we played, we had as much potential to win as the other teams, but just had some bad ends. They could have gone either way.”

The games that weren’t close were those against Saskatchewan, which won the championship, and home team Quebec.

“Those were the only two runaways. They really had their game going.”

Skinner said it was exciting to be in the presence of top level players. Many were veterans of the Scotties, as evidenced by Scotties rings on their fingers. Many had also been through the seniors ranks before playing at the masters level. Winner of the men’s sportsmanship award was a former Brier winner.

Summerland was the smallest community sending a team to the masters championship.

“We were the rookie team and we let people know how supportive our town was.”

The teams played two games a day.

The early morning game and the time change meant that the Skinner team had to get up at 2:30 a.m. B.C. time. Play alternated between two rinks each day, so there were different ice conditions to deal with.

“We had to be at the top of our game at all times,” said Skinner.

“We went with the idea that we were going to do the best we could and enjoy the experience. All in all, the experience was phenomenal and the memories will be with us forever.”



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