Students off to nationals!

Students off to nationals!

Three local students who medaled in the recent BC High School Curling Championships are also going to be representing BC in the U18 Canadian Curling Championships in Timmins, Ontario from Feb. 5-11.

Kaiden Beck, who was the skip for Sullivan’s gold medal rink, and Nolan Beck, who was the skip for Jackson’s silver medal winning rink, are part of the foursome which claimed first in the BC U18 championships. The two brothers teamed with Nolan Blaeser and Koen Hampshire, two junior curlers out of the Vernon Curling club. They are coached by Dale Hofer.

At the U18 championships a third Salmon Arm youth, Austin Tomlinson (who was part of Team Sullivan at the high school championships) was part of the runner-up rink, Team Tam (Port Moody).  Both teams have qualified to represent BC at the National U18 Playdowns in Timmins.

Also at the U18 championships, Kaiden Beck was voted Most Sportsmanlike Player in the event by his peers. 

Team Blaeser and Team Tam are registered through Curl BC and participate on the Curl BC junior curling tour to play in multiple bonspiels. Just for practice, Team Blaeser is also part of the Vernon men’s curling league! These two youth curlers keep up this schedule while managing multiple other sports and, of course, their academics! Kaiden and Nolan will also be competing at the U21 provincial championships in Duncan, Jan. 24-29, where they will compete for a chance to represent BC at Nationals in Quebec in March. Team Blaeser rink also received an automatic berth to the B.C. Winter Games in March!

Austin Tomlinson was recruited by coach, Ken Krause, of Team Tam of Port Moody when one of their players aged out of U18 competition. “Curling is a small world and often you need to look outside your own hometown to find players who share the same dedication to the sport and to the team,” explains Laura Tomlinson, Austin’s mother.  In the Fall, Austin travelled to Vancouver twice a month to participate in U21 and men’s bonspiels with his new team in preparation for U18 Provincials in December. In addition, he plays in the Thursday Men’s League in Salmon Arm, on the Sullivan high school team, and he practices as an individual two days a week after school. The time and travel all paid off when Team Tam (Adrian Tam, Austin Tomlinson, Ethan Chiu, Harrison Hrynew and coaches Ken Britz and Ken Krause) secured a berth to U18 Nationals as the A qualifier at Provincials.  

Attending provincial and national playdowns are costly and there is fundraising going on to help the youth. Salmon Arm Curling Club will be holding 50/50 draws during the week of Jan 23rd with funds raised going to support these two teams as they head to their national playdown. 

There are also GoFundMe campaigns. If you’d like to help support these curlers as they pursue becoming provincial high school and U18 national champs please call 250.804.5789 (Team Blaeser) or Laura at 604.309.1674 (Team Tam).