On the heels of hosting its second consecutive national volleyball championship, Camosun College is pleased to introduce the addition of Women’s Curling to the Chargers 2017-18 season. Coached by Curl BC Coach and High Performance Director and former Olympian, Melissa Soligo, the four-woman squad (known as Team Reese-Hansen) will leave Victoria this week for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)/Curling Canada Championships in Leduc, AB, March 24-28.
In December, Team Reese-Hansen won the 2018 BC Junior Women’s Curling Championship and went on to represent BC at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Shawinigan, QC, January 13-21, where they finished with a final record of 5-4.
Comprised of Taylor Reese-Hansen (Skip), Jordan Koster (Third), Mariah Coulombe (Second) and Lead, Sydney Brilz – the team, led by Soligo, is excited about representing Camosun in its inaugural venture into curling and ending the season competing amongst the nation’s best collegiate teams.
“We are all very excited to be the first Camosun curling team,” stated Coach Soligo who recently returned from the World Junior Curling Championships in Scotland, where her Canadian Men’s team won gold. “Last summer, I was talking with the team members and somehow college came into the conversation. When I learned that they were all students at Camosun, I told them that I would love to coach them – and that’s how it all got started.”
Reese-Hansen is enrolled in Camosun’s Bachelor of Athletic Therapy program; Koster is in Criminal Justice; Coulombe is in Applied Business Technology and Brilz is aiming for an Associate of Arts Degree.
Soligo and her squad will be among many of the nation’s top teams who land in Leduc as the city plays host to four Canadian curling championship events over a nine-day period:
· the 2018 U SPORTS/Curling Canada Curling Championships from March 24-28;
· the 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)/Curling Canada Championships from March 24-28;
· the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship from March 26-31; and
· the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship from March 29-April 1.
“I think it is going to be quite exciting to see all the other events going on,” said Coach Soligo. “I know a lot of the people who will be there so it’s going to be great to see everyone. I love being able to take that energy and put it into our own team and performance.”
Although this will be the team’s first time competing at the collegiate level, Coach Soligo is confident that her squad is ready, despite an injury that will keep Third, Jordan Koster off the ice. “Jordan is out for sure,” commented Soligo. “I think it will be the first time a team has to play short-handed at a national event – for the entire event. But we have been training hard and have some good systems in place for the situation, and we are very determined.”
While this year’s event will be the 14th CCAA National Curling Championship (the event started in 1984 and ran through to 1990; it was revived in 2012 and has since been staged annually), it will be the first time the CCAA national men’s and women’s championships will be staged in cooperation with Curling Canada.
“The CCAA is thrilled to be collaborating with Curling Canada in the hosting of the 2018 CCAA/Curling Canada Championships,” said Sandra Murray-MacDonell, Executive-Director of the CCAA. “By collaborating with Curling Canada, the hope is to grow the sport in the Canadian Collegiate post-secondary sector. With the increased exposure of CCAA student-athlete competition amidst three other Curling Canada Championships and with the infusion of team travel subsidies, growth and alignment in this sport sector is sure to ensue.”