Blind curlers place fourth at provincials

Local blind curlers go one-and-two and miss out on bid to the provincials

A blind curling team from 100 Mile House came away from the Jan. 12-14 2012 Provincial Play Downs for the West Coast Blind Curling Association without the top 2 results they needed to move on to westerns.

The crew, with skip Jim Vinson, third Lori Fry, second Marilyn Vinson, lead Katelyn Vanderburgh, spare Ben Johnson, and Ken Moore as their on-ice sighted guide, placed fourth in the competition in Kelowna.

100 Mile was the defending champion going into the tournament and came away winning one out of their three games. Fry says points on each side of every game were hard fought for, and in the end, there was only a three-point gap between them and the third-place position. Prince George finished in first place and Vancouver was second, both will advance to westerns in Edmonton this March.

Fry adds game 1 with Kelowna was looking good until the sixth end during which 100 Mile trailed by one point. Kelowna then dug in their heels and widened that gap to 9-4 by the final end.

An 8-6 victory over Vancouver in their second game livened their spirits but energy ran out in game 3 with Prince George, which ended in an 8-3 loss.

Fry says they had more than the usual to contend with throughout the tournament as the 12-sheet rink they played at was playing host to another major bonspiel at the same time. Television media was also an unexpected part of the equation and Fry found herself being interviewed by CHBC Global Kelowna.

She adds the big-city experience was a good one that brought some much-needed attention to blind curling and to the abilities of blind people.

The team will continue to hone its skills throughout the remainder of the season, with a goal already set to compete at the 2013 provincials, Fry explains.

“Our intention is to absolutely be there, but it wouldn’t hurt to build up a little more endurance before we get there. We couldn’t do it without community support and we’re grateful for all that we’ve had.”

Fry says they would also like to build up membership in the blind curling league, and anyone who is interested can contact her at 250-395-2452.