It is already the most successful team in the history of B.C. women’s curling.
So exactly what motivates Kelly Scott and her Kelowna foursome each time they step on the ice at the provincial women’s championship ?
The lure of yet another trip to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women’s championship is more than enough incentive for Scott, third Jeanna Schraeder, second Sasha Carter and lead Sasha Carter to be at their best.
Once again, the Scott rink is, not surprisingly, the favourite at this week’s B.C. women’s championship in Prince George.
“I don’t think motivation is ever a concern for us because we all have a competitive nature and we want to succeed at what we do,” said Scott, a two-time national women’s champion. “Any time we go out there with a title on the line, there’s that little extra fire. The reason we play is to get the Scotties, the ultimate event in Canada each year. This year it’s in Montreal, so we definitely want to be part of that. We’ve put so much work into the season, we want to finish it off right.”
Scott already has six B.C. women’s crowns to her credit, including the last four in a row—both are provincial records which may never been broken.
This week, the diminutive skip hopes to add to her rink’s legacy at the 10-team provincial championship which began on Monday in Prince George.
Among the contenders are a pair of former B.C. champions, Marla Mallet of Cloverdale and Allison McInnes, based this year out of Abbotsford.
With nine round robin games on the schedule, followed by as many as four playoffs games in the extended Page playoff system, it will be a very long and challenging week for the two teams that reach the final.
“It’s going to be a test,” said Scott. “It’s a fair format, but a very long format. It’s going to challenge everyone, both mentally and physically.”
Scott and Co. is playing in its first major event since the Olympic pre-trials in early November in Kitchener. After sailing through the round robin and earning a bye to the playoffs, the Scott rink lost its last two games top miss out on a berth at the final Olympic trials in Winnipeg.
Still, as much as the Kelowna team would have loved to represent its country in Sochi, Scott said her rink benefited from the experience and has no regrets.
“We knew going into the season that having to go through the pre-trials, it would be a longshot,” she said. “We had a good week, but weren’t good enough when we needed to be. It’s a credit to our opponents, teams are just that much better when the Olympics is the carrot. We have nothing to hang our heads about
“We refreshed now and ready to take a run at the Scotties,” she added. “We just want to play to our potential and see if we can get back there again.”
The B.C. women’s curling championship will run until this Sunday, Jan. 12 in Prince George.
The 2014 champ will represent the province at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women’s finals Feb. 1 to 9 at Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal.