scotties bound

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Photo by CurlManitoba

If someone told me at the beginning of CreComm I’d be going to the Scotties, it’d be insanely hard to believe. In 2015, I deferred school so I could curl competitively with Cathy Overton-Clapham. The following year, I finally decided to go to school after shedding a few thousand tears knowing I was giving up the sport I love. I was convinced school would take me away from the game. Oddly enough, it was the exact opposite.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join Team Englot this year as their fifth. I went to practices, spared in a couple of spiels, and even got to play a game in provincials with them. These girls (and Coach Ron) have worked so hard to reach their goal. Not only that, but they have made me feel 100% part of their team from day one. Being a fifth can be awkward at times because you’re not entirely sure of what your place is. But these girls have been very welcoming and I’m so thankful they’ve asked me to join them on their search for a maple leaf.

I’m excited to be able to help them in any way I can at nationals. Thank you Team Englot for letting me experience my first Scotties. St. Catharines, here we come.

KK.

q&a wi briane meilleur

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Photo by Anil Mungal/Sportsnet

Briane Meilleur is a Canadian curler from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a two-time Manitoba Junior Women’s Provincial Champion and 2011 Canadian Junior Women’s bronze medallist. She currently skips her own team with Rhonda Varnes, Janelle Vachon, and Sarah Neufeld. She is seeded fourth going into the 2017 Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts starting January 25.

KK: What is one of your favourite shots you have been part of?

BM: That’s a hard one considering I have the worst memory. I would have to say a draw to the 8-foot to win my first junior provincial final in 2010 when I played with Breanne Meakin. It’s not the most extravagant shot, and I did the least work since I was standing in the house, but the meaning behind it makes it very memorable for me.

KK: How did you get into curling?

BM: From what my parents tell me, I wasn’t a fan of skating so hockey was out. They didn’t know what to put me in for a while. My mom has always curled and so when I was 11 years old they tried putting me in the junior program at the Heather Curling Club. I guess you could say I didn’t hate it.

KK: What do you do off the ice to stay in shape?

BM: I try to work out most days of the week at a gym close to my house. I follow a program that I had made specifically for curling so it works for me. Eating well isn’t my strong suit, so working out a little harder is what it has to be. I also know that’s not how it works but maybe I’ll break my bad habits one day.

KK: Your team has had a great season so far. What has your team done to become successful?

BM: Honestly it came down to lots and lots of practice. No one on our team had played together before so the time together, getting to know one another, and how we all play turned out to be key. We have the same drive and goals so that always makes it easier to build success.

KK: How do you feel being seeded fourth in the 2017 Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts?

BM: It’s a little surreal. I’m proud of our team and how we played this year. It is a good feeling to be seeded up there as one of the top teams by your peers, but there are so many good teams in the mix this year. It should be a very interesting event.

KK: You’ve had a lot of junior success. How does that help you going into Grand Slam events and the provincials?

BM: I’m very grateful for the junior success I have had in the past. I feel it can make a huge difference when you get exposed to that kind of pressure and atmosphere at a young age. It definitely takes down the shock factor a bit when playing at a Slam or provincial event. I still get nervous, but I have always liked a little bit of nerves.

KK: You haven’t skipped since juniors. How do you feel skipping in the provincials this week?

BM: It’s a weird feeling. I’m both really excited and yet a little nervous at the same time. I’m confident in myself and our team, but it will be a first for me. I feel different than I have going into women’s provincials in previous years because it’s a new role I’m taking on. But I feel good and I can’t wait to get on the ice.

KK: What do you enjoy most about curling?

BM: That’s a good question. I’ve never really thought about that in depth. I do love competition and being challenged, but I think what I appreciate the most would be the friends I’ve made and the respect there is among competitors. The curling world is like a big family, and it’s so different from any other sport I’ve played.

KK: If you weren’t a curler, what do you think you’d be doing?

BM: Well I grew up playing softball and played competitively for years. I always had the dream of playing college softball in the U.S. so that was my plan for a long time. I think I decided to go for curling instead when I was around 16 or 17 years old. I still love baseball and that was my life for a long time, but I believe I made the right choice switching gears. I do wonder what it would of been like sometimes though.

KK: Name your top 5 snacks you eat between games.

BM: This is going to get me in big trouble, but I’ll be honest. Double Stuff Oreos, Doritos, Hickory Sticks, Fruit Source bars, and Chocolate Boost. I’m working on it, okay?

Follow Team Meilleur next week at the 2017 Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts at http://www.curlmanitoba.org/eventdetails.php?txtEventID=4414#.WIZT4zKZMdU

KK.

new year, new blog

Hey guys!

It’s semester two of my CreComm adventure and that means a new blog topic. Instead of getting blog challenges from school, I’ll be writing about one topic throughout the semester. And that topic will be — surprise! Curling! What else do you expect?

A few of the upcoming posts are going to be about bonspiels, Q&A’s, and interviews with local elite and club curlers.

To kick it off, I’d like to give a little bit of background info on myself and the sport.

I started curling when I was ten years old. My parents had curled as well, and decided to put me in it to see if I’d like it. Gymnastics, swimming, and dance didn’t seem to stick to well, but finally something did.

Flash forward four years later and I started to play competitively with one of my best friends Whitney. Below is an embarrassing picture of us and our former team circa 2005. Yes, I had a mushroom cut.

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As the years went by, I got more and more competitive and decided I wanted to go as far as I can in the sport. I was lucky enough a couple years ago to be invited to my first Grand Slam event, which only made my love for the game grow more. In September, I had to make the difficult decision to leave the sport competitively for two years. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but I’m so thankful that I did it. Not only am I in Creative Communications, a program that I love, but I get to be involved on the other side of curling. I’ve covered a few big curling events and got to interview athletes and take on-ice photos. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m looking forward to finding out where else school will take me.

On that note, I’m excited to blog about something I’m so passionate about. Make sure to check back every week for new posts!

KK.