It’s been a crazy season of curling for Jocelyn Peterman, who just wrapped up her second year on the Women’s World Curling Tour with a bang, winning gold at her first-ever Scotties Tournament of Hearts while playing second on Chelsea Carey’s Team Alberta.
“It’s been busy but it’s been worth it for sure,” said Peterman, 22, who also recently graduated from the kinesiology program at the University of Calgary.
“Right before everything got super busy with the Scotties and worlds, I had just finished, so it was good timing,” said Peterman, adding that while there were some tough times during the year, everything worked out in the end.
“It was difficult sometimes. Obviously, in ladies’, the events run as week-long events, especially the grand slam events. So for each of those it’s missing a full week of school at a time, which is a little difficult. But it just meant a lot of studying when I was home and on the road.”
For Peterman, the journey to the biggest stage in Canadian curling began when she was just a young girl growing up in Red Deer.
“My dad was the ice maker at the Red Deer Curling Club for a long time, so when I was young we would take the bus from school to the curling club to hang out while he was there instead of going home. So I spent a lot of time there and I was involved with the sport before I was even playing it,” she remembered, adding both of her parents and her brother curled competitively, so it didn’t take long for her to start playing in Red Deer’s Light Rock league.
“I believe the age you had to be to start was seven or eight. But because I had a little bit of an in there, my dad had me playing in the league when I was five,” she said.
Peterman has stuck with the sport ever since.
“When I was younger, throughout elementary school and middle school, I also played a bunch of other sports, I still play competitive softball. But I started playing in competitive curling competitions and then when I was about 13 or 14, I kind of had to choose.
“Curling would take us away about every second weekend because we were travelling to different events and stuff, so it was impossible to still play school sports,” she said, adding she made the decision to stick strictly with curling during the winter and softball in the summer.
It was around that time that Peterman got her first taste of provincial competition, when her team represented Red Deer at the U18 Juvenile Provincials at the age of 14, earning a silver medal with her rink.
“That kind of lit a bit of a fire under us when we saw how much fun the other teams were having, the team that won, at the Optimist International event. That was our push to want to practice a little more so that we would be the champions the next year at that event,” she said.
And that’s how it worked out for Peterman’s rink, as the very next year they won the U18 Juvenile Provincials to move on to represent Alberta at the Optimist International tournament, winning bronze.
“The Optimist Internationals was kind of my first big event representing Alberta. It’s one of those events where everyone’s kind of friends – where you’re representing your province but it’s also a ton of fun. I wanted to keep being able to play at events like that. The fun that we had there, as well as the success, kind of pushed us to want to continue to train and practice harder to be able to compete and represent Alberta at the Junior level as well as at the Canada Winter Games, which was a big goal for us at the time,” she said.
It was a goal they eventually fulfilled, making it all the way to the gold medal game of the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax before falling to British Columbia’s Corryn Brown.
In 2014, the opportunity of a lifetime opened up for Peterman when she was asked to play second for Heather Nedohin’s team on the World Curling Tour.
“It was kind of a shock to me to get asked to play with Heather’s team but it was a big blessing and that really got me started in the women’s circuit after my last year of junior. That was kind of a dream come true for me. It was pretty surreal.”
The team made it to the final of the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts before falling to Chelsea Carey.
But the ride was just getting started as Carey took over skipping Peterman’s rink for the 2015-16 season after Nedohin retired.
“It’s been pretty crazy, especially with Heather retiring, it was a lot of effort to get accustomed to a new skip. We played in a lot of events this year and it was a lot of work. We were gone quite a few weekends,” she said, adding winning the Scotties Tournament of Hearts was a pretty cool experience.
“It’s pretty exciting. The support from the Red Deer community throughout the events was pretty incredible and all of the people from back home who were sending notes and support, it was pretty awesome. It’s been pretty amazing.”
The team wasn’t able to earn a medal at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Swift Current this year, but Peterman said they’ve got their eyes on another prize – the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“That’s our goal now. This coming season is kind of where we’ll earn our points and be able to earn that spot, hopefully for the Olympic trials. Having not finished on the podium at the Worlds we still have to earn our Olympic trials spot now this year, so that’s a big motivation,” she said, adding that the team will get to play in some big events after winning the Scotties last year.
“We get to play in the Continental Cup in Vegas and things like that but we’re also pretty excited to go back to the Scotties as Team Canada and hopefully earn our spot for the Olympic trials in the fall 2017.”