When the Red Deer Curling Classic gets underway at the Red Deer Curling Club later this month, one curler in the field will be coming home.
“It’ll be nice to be back in Red Deer. It’ll be a little bit of a smaller event for us but it’s always nice to come back to the hometown and have that support from everyone there,” said Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman, who grew up in the Red Deer Curling Club.
“My dad was the ice maker at the Red Deer club for a long time, so it brings back a lot of memories. I spent a lot of hours in that curling club.”
Peterman, who was born in Red Deer but now resides in Calgary, plays third for Team Carey, who will be making an appearance at Red Deer’s largest bonspiel of the year in a couple of weeks.
Last year marked an impressive debut for the newly-formed team as they marched all the way to win the Scottie’s Tournament of Hearts.
Now the question is whether they’ll be able to put on an encore performance, but Peterman said the quartet of top-notch curlers is aiming even higher this season.
“We have the Canada Cup coming up at the end of the month, so that’s a big one for us. If you win that event you get a direct birth to the Olympic Trials, so our goal this year is definitely to earn our Olympic Trials spot.”
In order to do that, though, the team will either have to win the Canada Cup, no easy feat, or earn enough points by playing well in the World Curling Tour and Grand Slam of Curling events.
So far, she said, the Calgary-based team has been doing pretty well in the latter category as they kicked off their season with a win at the Hokkaido Bank Curling Classic in Hokkaido, Japan in early August.
“It’s been pretty good. We won our first event we played in in the summer in Japan and we had a few little disappointing results but we qualified at the last Grand Slam event,” said the 23-year-0ld University of Calgary grad, who is in Cranbrook, B.C. this week for another Grand Slam of Curling event.
“Our season started a lot sooner than it typically would but it was nice to get the opportunity to travel with the team. The four of us hadn’t done any events overseas so it was kind of fun and a good bonding experience. Japan was amazing, we all loved the trip and we won the event, so that was a nice cherry on top.”
Then, of course, there’s the matter of trying to defend their Scottie’s title. As the defending champions, Team Carey has a bye into the annual National Women’s Championship as Team Canada, which Peterman said is almost a relief of sorts.
“It’s kind of nice to have our whole season planned out knowing that we’re already going to the Scotties as Team Canada. There’s a little bit of added pressure being Team Canada but we’re more excited about it, I think,” she said, adding that the opportunity to don the maple leaf jerseys for the prestigious tournament will be a dream come true.
“It’s really surreal that we get to go to the Scottie’s again as Team Canada. I’m really looking forward to it.”