Just 10 years after she first hit the pebbled ice with a pack of fellow Learn to Curl newbies, Chilliwack's Kim McLandress is competing for a spot in the legendary Scotties Tournament of Hearts
McLandress is in Cloverdale this week throwing stones for Simone Bros-seau's Juan de Fuca Curling Club rink at the Scotties BC Women's Curling Championship.
It's a big stage for any curler and by far the largest in McLandress's relatively young career. After all, it was only 10 years ago when McLandress first walked through the doors of the Chilliwack Curling Club.
McLandress was 22, going to university, living in a new city and looking for a way to meet new people. She had only ever curled in high school physical education classes.
A natural athlete, McLandress quickly took to the sport. Now, a decade later, she is curling three times a week and recently hooked up with Brosseau's rink. In December, with former world champion Pat Sanders skipping in Brosseau's absence and McLandress throwing second, the rink went 3-1 at a qualifier and earned a place in this week's provincial championship.
She's looking forward to the event, even though she admits she will likely be nervous.
"It's super-exciting," she said. "I think it will be such a great experience. The three or four other people I'm curling with are amazing; they've been around the sport a lot longer than me so it's an experience for me to be able to learn from them."
McLandress said that while her team, as a relatively new rink, might not be expected to do much, there's no reason they can't win.
"I think it's wide open," she said. "We'll probably be under the radar because we are sort of a new team . . . but I think it's anybody's game."
The Scotties BC Women's Curling Championships began Monday and run until next Sunday. Results will be posted online, as they happen, at www. playdowns.com/curlbc. Spectators are also welcomed at the Cloverdale Curling Club.