Caitlin Allen and Émilie Lovitt smile a lot, and with good reason. The Vankleek Hill curlers have a chance to represent Ontario at this year’s Canada Winter Games. “It’s a really cool, exciting experience,” said Allen. “All of our hard work is paying off.” Allen and Lovitt are the Vankleek half of Team Vivier, a Vankleek Hill/Navan curl- ing quartet who have earned themselves top-three status in Ontario’s U18 curling standings. Along with their Navan team- mates, Paige Brown and Dominique Vivier, they are headed this week for Sault Ste. Marie and the provincial qualifiers to decide who will represent Ontario in women’s curling at the Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta in February. “Kinda nervous but excited,” said Lovitt, about the provincial qualifier. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Even if we don’t qualify, going there is something special.” Which sums up their attitude about curl- ing. Allen and Lovitt curl because they love to curl. Winning is good, but having fun is one of the main reasons why they curl. “My whole family curls, so I was involved in it that way,” said Allen, about her introduc- tion to the sport. Curling proved the social mixer for Lovitt soon after her family moved from St-Eugène to Vankleek Hill. “We were having a garage sale,” she said, “and this woman came up and said that her daughter curled, and if I wanted to make friends, maybe I should join the curling club.” Allen and Lovitt met at the Vankleek Hill Curling Club and soon became friends through their mutual love of curling.

Les partenaires de curling de Vankleek Hill, Caitlin Allen (à gauche) et Émilie Lovitt, sont impatientes de se rendre à Sault Ste-Marie cette semaine pour affronter les meilleures joueuses de l’Ontario et tenter de gagner une place aux Jeux d’hiver du Canada plus tard cette année à Red Deer, Alberta. La moitié Vankleek de l’équipe Vivier du Navan Curling Club, les deux amis s’attendent à profiter de leur temps aux qualifications provinciales, peu importe les résultats. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

All for fun Team Vivier practices twice a week at the Navan Curling Club. Allen and Lovitt do extra training on their own at the Vankleek Hill Curling Club when they have time left over from their school work and other obligations. Most of the rinks they will face in Sault Ste. Marie this week are familiar to them from past tournaments. They know what to expect when they step out on the ice with their brooms. “But with curling,” said Lovitt, “the beauty of the sport is that, on any given day, anyone can win. We’ll just have to wait and see.” Then they smile, because they know, whatever happens on the ice, it’s going to be fun.

The Gentleman’s Game “There’s a really good social aspect to curling,” Allen said. “It’s called a ‘gentle- man’s sport’, and on ice and off, we have fun.” “I love everything about it,” said Lovitt. “It’s such a different kind of sport. Once you learn how to do it, curling is kind of addictive.” The two of them curled for their school, Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, and were

“quite successful” noted Allen. Lovitt met a Navan curler who wanted to try to form a rink with some of the local players. That didn’t pan out but it did help intro- duce Lovitt and Allen to Vivier and Brown from the Navan club. The four teamed up with sweeping success so far. Allen cites her own physical strength while Lovitt notes her own attitude and attention to ice details as their main contributions to Team Vivier. They look at each other and smile as both acknowledge the team’s on-ice dynamics is its greatest strength. “We are really good at keeping the mood light and happy,” said Allen, noting that other rinks “shut down” when their players start getting frustrated.


Les Faucons de l’École secondaire publique Le Sommet ont affronté des membres de la Police provinciale de l’Ontario, le 10 décembre dernier au Complexe sportif Robert Hartley, dans un match de hockey au profit de la Fondation de l’Hôpital Général de Hawkesbury. Les Faucons ont marqué quatre buts sans riposte pour battre l’équipe de la PPO par la marque de 4 à 1. —photo fournie

Vankleek Hill curling partners Caitlin Allen (left) and Émilie Lovitt are eager and excited about going to Sault Ste. Marie this week to curl against the best in Ontario for a chance to win themselves a berth at the Canada Winter Games later this year in Red Deer, Alberta. The Vankleek half of Team Vivier from the Navan Curling Club, the two friends expect to enjoy their time at the provincial qualifiers, regardless of the results. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

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