Saskatchewan

Curling a family affair for one Saskatchewan rink

The jungles of Peru are an unlikely place for the seeds of a curling team to be planted. But that was the case with the Goertzen rink. Last November, Robyn Silvernagle and Cristina Goertzen were backpacking in South America and needed to find two players to make a team. So they asked their mothers.

Goertzen team made up of a pair of mother-daughters will compete at provincials

Robyn Silvernagle is excited to curl with her mother in the provincials. 0:52

The jungles of northern Peru are an unlikely place for the seeds of a curling team to be planted. But that was the case with the Goertzen rink curling out of Saskatoon's Granite Curling Club.

Last November, Robyn Silvernagle and Cristina Goertzen were backpacking in South America. On a boat tour, their minds drifted off to curling. 

They decided to enter a team into the northern playdowns when they returned to Saskatchewan. One problem. They could not find anyone to curl with them.

The Goertzen curling rink. (From L to R) Anita Silvernagle, Robyn Silvernagle, Cristina Goertzen, Brenda Goertzen. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

"We were like, 'who could we get?' We put something on Facebook. No response," Silvernagle explained at a recent practice.

"Then Cristina was like, 'well we could always ask our Moms.'"

It had been years since Brenda Goertzen and Anita Silvernagle had curled competitively. Both were on teams at the 2000 provincial playdowns, but had thought their playing days were over.  

"They were kind of reaching into the bottom of the bucket to find two people to fill a spot," Anita Silvernagle joked. "My answer was if you can find somebody else then go for it. But if it holds you from going back, then sure I'll fill a spot."

The team practised once before the northern playdowns. Their goal was to win a game. They ended up as B side champions, earning a berth to this week's provincial playdowns.

What I've heard from most people is what a unique experience that I get to curl with my daughter at this level. And that feels special.- Brenda Goertzen, Skip of the Goertzen rink out of Saskatoon.

Family breeds trust on the ice

Brenda Goertzen skips the team but throws second stones. Her daughter Christina throws third.

She says their familiarity and trust in each-other makes playing together a lot of fun.

The Goertzen rink practised only once before heading to northern playdowns. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

"I have a lot of trust in my Mom and the game that she's going to call. I trust she's going to make her shots. I also know that we can poke fun at each-other and it's fine and lots of fun."

The Goertzen rink faces some stiff competition at provincials, which are taking place in Assiniboia. They are ranked behind teams skipped by players such as Stefanie Lawton, Michelle Englot and Trish Paulsen. 

But for Brenda Goertzen, the main goal of this unique team is not to win titles.

"What I've heard from most people is what a unique experience that I get to curl with my daughter at this level. And that feels special."

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