District curlers chasing provincial berths

“We know what it takes to get there. We just have to make the right shots at the right time.”
Those were the words of local curler Kathie Jackson, whose rink will be competing at the Northwestern Ontario women’s playdowns this weekend in Thunder Bay, where two spots are up for grabs for the provincial showdown coming up here Jan. 31-Feb. 5.
Although Jackson is a six-time provincial competitor, and her teammates also have provincial experience, she said it’s going to be a tough competition.
“We haven’t gelled as a team yet,” she remarked. “We’re hoping that will happen this weekend.”
Former district curlers Angela Lee and her sister, Andrea, are on the team as skip and lead, respectively, while Shana Ketonen is the second.
They will be going up against three other rinks from Thunder Bay and one from Geraldton.
“We have the opportunity to get a hometown team to the provincials,” noted Jackson. “That’s the main reason I’m doing this.”
Jackson (nee Sinclair) has been winning bonspiels since she was 15 years old. But since her decision to cut back on curling and concentrate on raising a family, she said she really doesn’t miss it that much.
“My family is more important and they definitely come first,” she stressed. “Right now I don’t plan to carry on doing this. My girls are still pretty young.”
In fact, her nine- and six-year-old daughters appear to be looking to follow in their mom’s footsteps. They already are out on the ice throwing rocks with her.
Although Jackson may have influenced her daughters, it seems her family has done a bit of influencing themselves.
“I couldn’t have done this without my family,” she said. “They have all supported me so much.”
In other curling news, the men’s Northwestern playdowns is set to get underway Jan. 12 in Geraldton. Jackson’s husband, Lorne, and Anthony Smaha of here are among the six rinks vying for a spot in the provincials.
As well, the Zone 7 senior men’s playdowns—featuring local rinks Raymond Roy, Al Holt, and Bryan Bonot—is being held at the Fort Frances Curling Club this weekend.
The first draw will be held Friday at 9 p.m., followed by two draws on Saturday (the times had not been set as of press time).
The top team will advance to the Northwesterns slated Feb. 1-5 in Red Lake.