For much of the last decade, Sarah Wazney has been watching Kelowna’s Kelly Scott rink thrive on the national women’s curling scene.
So when the invitation was extended to join the two-time Canadian champions, the 25-year-old from Winnipeg didn’t hesitate.
Wazney will move into the lead position with the Scott team in 2012-13, taking over for Jacquie Armstrong who stepped aside this spring to devote more time to work and family.
“To have a chance to curl with Kelly Scott, Jeanna Schraeder (third), and Sasha Carter (second), that’s an opportunity you just can’t pass up,” said Wazney. “They’re among the top girls in Canada, the goals they have, the knowledge and experience, the commitment they have is really second to none. It’s similar to what I want to achieve in curling, so that’s why I’m excited about this.”
Wazney brings with her a healthy curling resume, which includes a gold medal win at the Canadian junior women’s curling championship and later a bronze at the junior worlds with Manitoba’s Kaitlyn Lawes in 2008.
She also has national experience at the mixed, university and Canada Games levels.
Still, it wasn’t just curling pedigree that sold the Scott team on Wazney.
“Sarah had a mix of everything we were looking for in a lead and new teammate,” said skip Kelly Scott. “Her curling ability, her attitude, her personality and enthusiasm, she’s someone we can see fitting right in. She also has that experience at the national and international levels.
“We’re really happy with our decision to bring her on.”
While moving from Winnipeg to Kelowna will be no small exercise, it’s a commitment Wazney was more than willing to make for a chance to play with one of Canada’s elite teams.
The timing couldn’t be much better either, as Wazney recently completed her degree in recreational management and community development at the University of Manitoba.
Wazney, who plans to move to Kelowna this summer, said her new teammates are already helping to make the transition smooth.
For starters, Scott and Carter, both natives of Winnipeg, made the same move west years earlier.
“The girls are so open and nice and friendly, they put me at ease,” said Wazney, who played last season with the Jill Thurston rink. “In talking to them, they assured I wouldn’t have anything to be scared of. Kelowna’s going to be a little quieter than Winnipeg, but I’m going to be able to play with them on tour and compete at the highest level. This is a great opportunity for me, so it’s a move I’m not hesitant about, at all.”
With the Scott rink firmly committed to making a run at the Olympics, Wazney admits a potential trip to Sochi, Russia in 2014 is an enticing notion.
Still, she’s being careful not to look too far ahead.
“Of course that’s the ultimate goal for every curler, but I’m not letting myself think about that right now. It’s going one bonspiel at a time for me, getting comfortable with my new team and getting in a groove. I’m excited to get started.”
Wazney expects to arrive in Kelowna, with her boyfriend and puppy, sometime in August.
The 2012-13 curling season begins for the Scott team in mid-September.