It’s a women’s banner to hang on Westmount Golf and Country Club’s walls.
That’s what resonated with Kerry Lackie after she won the Travelers Women’s Club Championship in Cornwall earlier this month.
“I have to say that. It’s been a long time for a women’s banner coming to Westmount,” Lackie said.
“So kind of excited to hang a women’s banner there. It’s going to be kind of nice to put the name (Westmount) out there; I am pleased and proud about that.”
Westmount has done well with youth wins in recent years, including a junior men’s Canadian title in 2010, plus provincial wins for Colts, bantam boys and bantam girls. For women’s events, the last Ontario crown for the club came in Diamond Seniors (now known as masters) skipped by Betty MacMillan back in 1995.
Lackie, Lisa McLean, Halnya Tepylo and Cynthia Roth will get their names on the latest addition to the Westmount walls. Formerly known as the Dominion until this year, the Travelers Club Championship was created to give men’s and women’s club curling teams a taste of the elite curling world. Only one player on the team can have played at the provincial level in recent years. The teams go on to represent that province at a combined national championship for both genders.
It was the second straight visit to the provincial club championship for this rink. Lackie lost out on a tiebreaker for playoffs last season.
“You can’t go in and think it’s going to be a cakewalk. There are no cakewalks.”
This year the rink went undefeated. In the third game at provincials the team was down four points to Orangeville’s Michelle Gray with two ends to play. Lackie scored three in the seventh, stole the eighth and stole the extra end to win the game. It was a turning point.
It left one more game in the preliminary round and still no losses. The thought was there: “This might be ours.”
It turned out to be true. The team won the final game 5-3 over Port Perry’s Susan McKnight.
Lackie’s had success before. Most of it came as a member of the Ilderton Curling Club between 2003 and 2005. Back then, there was the grind of the Ontario tour and some provincial Hearts appearances.
There are banners for three Women’s Tankard (Ontario curling’s two-team event) wins plus an intermediate title all hanging at the Ilderton club.
There is a second intermediate banner for playing vice with Stacey Brandwood hanging in Glendale.
The biggest win was the 2005 Ontario mixed championship, with Sun Parlour Curling Club’s Phil Daniels sending her to her only other national championship.
Ten years ago, curling dominated Lackie’s life. Relocating to Waterloo Region, scaling back to two times a week and focusing on family and coaching in the sport brought a better balance for the Grand River Hospital blood bank lab technologist.
Now, she curls in a mixed league with her husband at Westmount. She curls in a women’s league at K-W Granite. The Westmount women’s club champion is decided through a bonspiel held annually.
It’s a better balance now. She enjoys the time with her teammates. She enjoys the company of the people who take part in the club championships, the grassroots curlers.
“It’s the game they all love but it’s not the biggest thing in their life. They appreciate the game and they love the game and the three girls that are with me haven’t been to a national before, so I am thrilled that we can go.”
The Travelers Club Champion Nationals are Nov. 22-29 in Halifax. The team will get their provincial jackets at the event. Lackie remembers that feeling from her mixed appearance.
“The first time you slide on your Ontario coat. That’s pretty cool.”
Home Hardware Bonspiel
It’s a disappointing 73 teams for the Home Hardware bonspiel. It’s the first time the event has dipped below 80 teams. In the 2004 season, 120 teams participated. The biggest drop has been the Elmira Curling Club, which led the event in entries from 2000 to 2003 and had more than 20 entries for eight straight seasons (2000-2007). There are just nine teams from Elmira this year. Guelph Country Club had 10 teams in both 2011 and 2012 but the club dropped curling at its venue in favour of ball hockey. Guelph Curling’s entries are up likely due to members moving over from the country club. K-W Granite fell below 20 entries for the first time since 2006.
Games begin Monday. Semifinals and finals are set for the Arthur and District Curling Club Saturday, Nov. 22.
K-W Granite’s Wanda Bauer, Elsie Millerd, Sherri Helmka and Carrie Speers accomplished the rare feat of scoring eight in one end during their Monday women’s daytime league.
Brian Belfry’s next curling column will appear Nov. 26. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Brian on Twitter at @belfrycurling