A local woman is about to take on a very exciting life experience as she travels as part of Team Canada after her team won the gold medal game of the 2017 Canadian Junior Curling Championships last weekend.
Chantele Broderson, team third, is going to be joining her teammates Kristen Streifel (skip), Kate Goodhelpsen (second) and Breanna Bilassy (lead) in Gangneung, South Korea in two weeks’ time for the 2017 VoIP Defender World Junior Championships.
The championship takes places from Feb. 16th to 26th and is sure to keep the ladies busy.
“The Juniors were awesome. It was the biggest curling bonspiel I’ve ever been a part of and my first national event that I’ve competed in, so it was a bit of a new experience for me,” said Broderson.
She has been curling for nearly 11 years and is excited to see these dreams unfold.
For the past several years, Broderson has been working towards the National Championship and provincial-level events. She said achieving this goals through the current season has been a truly exciting feat.
“Winning provincials was an amazing experience. Getting to go to Nationals and meet amazing people and curling on the arena ice for the first time was crazy. I can’t believe we’re now going to South Korea to compete – it’s really been a whirlwind,” she said with a laugh.
“It’s been unreal to see everything that’s happened so far and to have so many of my dreams coming true.”
Broderson said there was a calm atmosphere for the Alberta team heading into the National competition.
She said their team was not projected to win, so they simply went in with good intentions, relaxed and ready to curl.
“We just wanted to enjoy the moment and have fun with it. We started curling really well and managed to get into the semi-final. From there, we just played our best and pulled through with the win,” she said.
Heading into the final end against the Ontario provincial team, the Alberta ladies were tied. This was a well-practiced scenario and ultimately proved favourable for the Alberta team.
Broderson and her teammates practice every Monday, where they work on practical situational training and scenarios to become well-rounded and ready for anything.
She explained that they have often prepared for a tenth-round tie and having to steal a win, so it was a scenario they all felt comfortable with.
Heading into the World Championships, Broderson said there is a little more pressure, as Canada is known to produce strong curlers.
“Canada is held to a very high standard in curling – we’ve been known to win a lot of tournaments,” she said.
“It’s going to be cool to go into that championship as a team that people sort of look up to. I’ve never curled against international curlers before, so it’s going to be a completely different experience than anything I’ve ever had before.”
Broderson said she’s looking forward to the South Korea trip for a number of reasons, one being the brand-new facility they will be playing in.
“It’s a cool year to be able to go for this. The arena that we are playing in was constructed for the 2018 Winter Olympics, so this is going to be a test-run of sorts to show people how those Olympic games might look. It’s going to be very cool to be a part of that.”
Broderson has, in general, a love and admiration for the sport of curling.
She said the experience of competing at Nationals was a tad surreal – especially being able to do the victory walk where many of her previous influences had done the same.
“Right after we won, we got to walk down the ice in a sort of ‘victory lap’ and that was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had,” she said excitedly.
“You grow up watching your idols walk that same walk, so being in that moment was absolutely surreal.”
As well, Broderson and the other women got their first taste of TV time, as the Nationals were broadcast across TSN. She said this was another unique experience for her, and one that she’s glad didn’t throw her game off.
She noted that her team is quite strong together and that she is thankful to have the camaraderie and support from the others on the team.
“Kristen and I lived together last year, so we spent a lot of time together and became quite close. We curled together this year and are still pretty close. I’ve curled with Kate and Brenna two years ago, as well, and we ended up winning the U18 Provincial Championships as well,” she said, saying that the level of comfort the ladies have with each other is helping them to face the upcoming World Championships with steady minds.
When she’s not building up her skills on the ice, Broderson can be found at the University of Alberta studying to complete a degree in elementary education.
The upcoming World Championships will be broadcast on television around the world, and also on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel.