Sundre curlers taking on world
Sundre siblings Becca and Parker Konschuh are ready to take on the world – at the World Junior Ladies and Men’s Curling Championships starting next week.
Becca Konschuh, 18, is a member of the Alberta Junior Ladies curling team that is heading to the championships in Ostersund, Sweden. Games get underway on March 3 and run until the 11th.
Parker, 20, is a fifth on the Alberta Junior Men’s team, who are also Canadian champs and also heading to Sweden. The teams fly out on Feb. 28.
Becca and her teammates Jocelyn Peterman, Brittany Tran and Kristine Anderson play out of the Red Deer Curling Club. Nancy McInerney is their longtime coach.
The team has played together for three years, having made it to provincials in 2010, where it finished second.
The team qualified for the 2012 Worlds by defeating Manitoba’s Shannon Birchand 12-6 at the Canadian Junior Ladies Curling Championships in Napanee, Ont.
Becca and her teammates have been spending a lot of time preparing for Worlds following their win in Ontario.
By and large, the team is keeping to the same training regime that got them to the nationals, Becca said.
“We are doing the same things that have been successful for us,” she said. “We are doing a bit more on the mental side because of the time change. It will be pretty much a full day ahead over there.”
When preparing for the national championships, the team enlisted the help of sports psychologist J.D. Lind and the team is continuing to work with him in the run-up to the Worlds.
“We really want to be ready psychologically,” Becca said. “We don’t know any of the other teams or any of their strategies. And there are a couple different rules at the world championships, so we are going to have to learn that as well.”
There are some different rules when it comes to sweeping and time outs, she said.
Becca started curling in Sundre when she was four years old. She says all the years of support and coaching by curlers in her hometown has made her the curler she is today.
“The community has been absolutely phenomenal over the past couple of weeks,” she said. “Everyone has been so supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
And how does she feel her team will do at the Worlds?
“I think our goal right now is to make the playoffs, kind of like we did at nationals, and then go from there,” she said. “We don’t really know what to expect, but if we play like we did at nationals, I think we have a really good shot at coming home with another gold.”
Becca’s brother Parker was a member of a team that made it to the Alberta championships this year.
And although his team didn’t win provincials, he has been asked to attend Worlds in Sweden as a fifth member of the Alberta team that ended up winning the nationals in Napanee.
A kinesiology student at the University of Alberta, Parker says he is confident his team will do well.
“I’m really excited and thrilled to be going,” said Parker. “Everyone on the team curls at the U of A, so we know each other really well.”
As for any sibling rivalry with his sister, Parker says that has taken second place to a desire for both teams to do well.
“We are really all one big team, one big Team Canada,” he said.
Becca and Parker’s parents, Bev and Wade Konschuh, are naturally thrilled to see their kids heading off to world championships.
“I’ve said if a fairy tale could have been written, nobody could have written it better than what we are getting right now. It’s awesome and it’s going to be so much fun,” said Bev.
“Curling has been very good to us and we’ve had lots of really wonderful rewards from curling.”
Bev and Wade will be travelling to Sweden to watch the games.