Beginning this spring, the stakes are even higher for Canadian university curlers.
Atlantic University Sport (AUS) recently announced the addition of men and women’s curling to their list of 2014-15 championships being awarded this spring.
The inaugural AUS curling banners will be awarded this winter, with the University of Prince Edward Island slated to host the 2015 Subway AUS men and women’s curling championships. The event will take place from Feb. 13-15 at the Montague Curling Club.
For the 2014-15 season, the University of Prince Edward Island, the University of New Brunswick, St. Francis Xavier University and Memorial University have declared and will now compete for the 2015 AUS curling titles.
The 2015 CIS/CCA curling championships will be hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. from March 18 – 21. The AUS will be sending two men’s teams and two women’s teams to the national tournament.
Two teams recently earned the right to represent the University of New Brunswick at the AUS championships next month.
The school’s representatives were chosen through a play down process, in which teams were independently formed and competed in a best of three series.
On the women’s side, Cathlia Ward, Marie-Elaine Little, Jamie Ward and Katie Forward will represent UNB while Josh Barry, David Easter, Andrew Burgess and Alex Robichaud won the best of three series on the men’s side.
Team Ward will be heading into the AUS championships with a solid season behind them. The team had a semi-final finish at an international spiel in Ottawa early in the season and qualified first for the under-21 provincials held last weekend in Moncton. Their winning ways are particularly impressive given that the team began playing together just this year.
While it is an accomplishment in itself to qualify for the AUS championships, Team Ward intends to take their play to the next level.
“Our goal for the AUS championships is to earn one of the two spots available to compete at the CIS national championships,” explained Cathlia Ward.
“There will be a number of talented women’s and men’s teams from across Atlantic Canada playing in PEI in February, but we hope to make UNB proud and represent our school in Waterloo at the national championship.”
In addition to their championship aspirations, the team hopes to increase the visibility of their sport across New Brunswick, and specifically within the university community.
“Curling is still only a club sport here at UNB,” said Ward. “However, we’re hopeful that if we can have a successful season, curling will evolve into a varsity sport at UNB in coming years.”